Monday, October 15, 2012

Letters from Alvina Krause: Fall 1974

Year two begins.

Continue to seek communication with Dr. Scott [See post for September 24 -- DD]. Invite him to luncheon with you. Ask him direct questions: How would he stage a Greek chorus today? anything to get him started talking. Let him know that in your philosophy acting cannot be taught as a separate entity: it is part of a whole, it must be so taught -- a whole, not only of living, but of the arts and humanities. And continue to make that point in staff meetings! To teach acting you must teach theatre -- only achieved by cooperation within the department. Ask Scott -- and the department -- who are the finest teachers of literature on campus because you want to recommend that your students study with them. Who is doing significant teaching in psychology? history? sociology? The good actor must have a comprehension of the entire system of human life. Scott can help you with this, but let others know positively what your goals are. The actor acts with all that he is. This is your basic principle, isn't it? Well -- establish, promote work for this principle. Tell your students to take Galati's courses. He is no competitor, he is a colleague working for the same goals. Insist upon registration in Dr. Bacon's Shakespeare -- he too is your colleague. Maybe you can make a small break by having Yvonne [the head of the costume shop -- DD] talk to your class on acting in costume: how the chest must lead, how muscles at the waist line govern movement of the skirts, how to leap over sofas in flowing robes, how to wear "costumes" as clothes.
Break down these ridiculous barriers which have been created by jealousy and incompetence. Recognize the fact that teaching acting is teaching theatre and theatre is the astonishment of living cast into theatre form -- See John Van Meter. Seek out the people who will sustain you in your faith.
God help you
AK --

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