Saturday, November 24, 2012

Letters from Alvina Krause: Summer 76 journal

One of the students who went to Bloomsburg in the summer of 1976 shared the page of comments Krause wrote in his journal.

Student Journal
What does Gaev do when he says "He smells of the henhouse"? What is his olfactory sense like? What did he buy after the sale of the cherry orchard --
Do you hear his voice?

Whenever you make a discovery about a character, immediately ask: How is this expressed by eyes? Spine? Voice? What is Gaev's basic rhythm?

Yasha -- Draw a picture of him. How does he wear his hair? What is his vocal tune? Do you see his smile? Describe his eyes.

Every time you make a discovery, tell how it determines character -- For instance, look about at people today -- How do we express our age, our Watergate era?
What has happened to our spines? Why is the American voice what it is? Have you looked into people's eyes lately? What do you see? What is our rhythm of speed? of movement? Why?

Get into development of character and its physical expression. Can you hear Gaev's voice, its quality, its pace, its rhythm, its diction? How does Yasha's differ?
Sit in a library for 8 hours reading bad print, taking notes -- What happens to your spine? And you have forgotten to eat since yesterday -- Now what are your eyes like? What do they see? -- but you have an idea you must get on paper -- Now describe this Trofimov.


I kept detailed notes of each class session with Krause that summer. Her comments clarified or expanded on my notes. This is what she wrote at the end.

Journal Note
Tell me how you will make all this information yours --
How will you go about getting total response --
Know what you are after and Never be Afraid.

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