Inside the Circle

 

What’s it like to be inside the circle?  Magic.  As a director with young, inexperienced actors, I was faced with stealing their attention from the general chaos of the outside world and bringing them to a place where we could focus on acting exercises and rehearsals.  Nothing worked well until I let them alone during a break and drew a three-foot circle with chalk on the floor of the rehearsal space.  Having their attention, I invited them, one-by-one, to step into the circle and become an animal, silently.  We would guess which animal they were and then they would leave. We repeated the exercise many times, creating emotions and even colors.  The rule was that when they were in the circle they had to “stay in character” all the time.  The rule for the audience was that if someone was in the circle, everyone had to be silent and give full attention to the actor.

It was from this exercise, repeated in different forms over weeks, that the young people learned inside the circle is a unique, sacred place – soon to be fully-known only to them.  Anything could be created in that space and when it was being created, honor should be given to the creators.  The circle became larger, actors created in groups and, eventually, the circle became the stage, a play was created and only then did they fully understand the magic of stepping inside the circle.

In this space, I hope to share thoughts of what it has been like – and still is – for me, being inside the circle.  My visions, memories and opinions will be honest and useful to some, useless to others.  I’ll only write what I believe I have the right to write and, hopefully, some of it will inspire, educate and entertain.

You can share the posts with the share buttons on each post, or follow me using the buttons below.  If you want to comment, feel free to go to my page, WalkerPlays, on Facebook, start a conversation and post away!  Or, send me a message directly.  I’ll try to get back to you in a day or two.

Recent Articles

Actors & Directors

Articles discussing the craft of acting and directing

Audition by Subtraction – by Michael Walker – Part 5

Or “How To Avoid Audition Suicide”   -The Fourth Fatal Audition Mistake- So far in this series, we’ve met three of Mother’s ten Fatal Audition Mistake Children: Never Be Late, Never Make Excuses and Never Do Something You Can’t Do.  These are absolutely mortal...

read more

Playwrights

Articles about my process as a playwright along with thoughts by and about other playwrights.

Nudity On Stage

“To be sure, nudity can be justified artistically, but that fact doesn’t much impress me.”  - Ed Hooks. A few years ago, I saw a play in which the playwright employed nudity.  It was set in a location where nudity would be expected and (intellectually) was central to...

read more

General Theatre

Articles about books, dramaturgy, opinions and the state of today’s theatre world.

Artistic Director Controversy at Boston Children’s Theatre

“Artistic director caught in storm over nude scene at Boston Children’s Theatre” – Boston Globe It was just a few days after I finished a respectable first draft of BARE STAGE that the Boston Children’s Theatre controversy was brought to my attention. This very public...

read more

News

What’s new with plays and theatre companies as well as me and other theatre artists.

Get in Touch

We'll get back to you right away - usually within 24 hours.