Wednesday, August 1, 2007
SOUVENIR PHOTO ALBUM
These photos are of a souvenir album from an 1875 performance of The Two Orphans. It was photographed by Sarony Studios, New York photographers of the more important celebrities and stars. The pictures tell a lot about acting presentation and costumes. You should be able to pick out the comic character easily; also the pathetic orphan. (It is interesting to see how large the casts were at the bigger theatres.)
Check the posture -- no one takes a neutral position with weight evenly distributed on both feet, direct frontal presentation and ramrod straight posture. The "S" curve was considered the most speaking and beautiful, and actors tried to create one with their arms and legs, and often bending their heads as well, to keep a "line of beauty" in their bodies.
Also look at the eyes: especially the nun and the low comedian. And do you see any differences in male and female carriage?
This type of acting, when done crisply and with strong intent, carries the story along and creates immediate connection between actor and audience.