Bezalel Academy for Art and Design

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Directing the Actor

In summer 2011, I was invited by the chair of the screen based arts department in Bezalel, to propose a curriculum for a new course that would focus on how to work with actors.

 

Animators usually need a human reference when they work on a film in order to build a specific gestural behavior for their characters. The course I built and taught for 4 semesters focused on the director’s dialogue with the actor. In theory and in practice, the course examined the foundations of the director’s work with the actor through the two key prisms:  the text and the body.

 

In the first part, we briefly discussed the foundational aspects of dramatic thinking: narrative vs. dramatic plot, dramatic action, dramatic trajectory, the dramatic whole and its parts, and more. The second part focused on building characters with the actors, first through physical exploration and different physical exercises and second, when relevant, through text analysis and scene work guidance. The characters in the pictures and clips on this page were created during the course.

Bezalel Academy for Art and Design, Jerusalem, 2011-2013

 

Creating Operatic Theater

     In 2010, I pitched an idea for a new course to Bezalel Academy for Art and Design. The goal was to introduce basic elements of theatrical thinking and design for theater to designers of non-theatrical disciplines. The test case that I chose for this course was my production Oedipus 2011. Part of my hope was to open the production to artists from other disciplines, who would join as designers in a later stage. The course was co-taught with Yael Kafuri, an expert in the meeting point between art and music.

 

     The first part of the course gave an introduction to the foundational principles of theatrical thinking and design for theater. The second part demonstrated how these principles manifest themselves in theater and opera productions. In the third and last part of the course, every student (or small teams) designed one aspect of a mock production of King Oedipus. Eventually, selected students from the course designed the set, costume and props of the production Oedipus 2011, which was produced that year in the Israel Festival.

 

                Bezalel Academy for Art and Design, Jerusalem, 2010-2011

 

© 2020 by Yagil Eliraz

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