Reading that, I found was like a running commentary of the end of the scene. It is a very powerful few lines and a great way to end an act, with such a cliffhanger. It is almost like a story in itself. Although this action was done without any words, Eddie knew what Marco was signaling.
Eddie had gone too far and Marco was protecting his baby brother. Marco, who was normally a quiet, self-contained and polite figure, was now questioning Eddie’s authority because Eddie had violated his.
The Italian passion for justice comes through again as Marco violently protects his brother. Marco had arisen and with great strength, everyone was now questioning Eddie’s authority. These stage directions pick out every detail of how every character in the scene should be. This direction in particular helps the actors really getting them into character.
Since I have been watching the rest of my class, including myself, act out certain extracts form the play, I have seen the different ways in which people interpret the stage directions and portray their character.
One pair, acted out the scene where Alfieri and Eddie talk about Catherine and Rodolpho’s relationship, and the big question – is Rodolpho gay? I found that the scene starts as a civilised, calm conversation, but as the interaction lengthened, Eddie became very intense, whereas Alfieri stayed calm.
The pair were very passionate, and comfortable performing in front of the class and that was shown throughout their performance. When watching them, and following the play at the same time, I came across very little stage directions, but the pair had entered their own, showing initiative and passion for their parts, and each others.
They were able to convey the characters feelings very well and were able to climax the performance well, using their own stage directions and the original ones.
I would like to see professional actors act out the scene so I can do slight comparisons which could help me understand more clearly how others interpret stage directions. Actors are also faced with simile stage directions, such as the one below from page 66. Both Eddie and Rodolpho are described as animals, symbolising an animal’s primeval urge to show power. They are like animals that have torn at one another and broken up without a decision, each waiting for the other’s mood.
When I read that, it struck me as being out of the ordinary because it was so descriptive and imaginative. Stage directions always just used to be just ‘sit down’, ‘smiling as she heads to kitchen door’ etc. basic tasks, but I had never seen a direction like that before. This takes us back to the point I made earlier about how different actors interpret certain directions. This essay has made me appreciate the use and importance of stage directions, particularly in this play. Whether they are as important as words are up to you, the reader.