The Actor's Position on the StageThere are five basic body positions that may be assumed in relation to the audience.
- Full front-The actor is facing the audience with both feet facing downstage and head also facing the audience. This is the strongest and most “open” of all body positions.
- Full back- The actor faces the back wall of the stage, both feet facing upstage so that the audience sees only the actor’s back.
- Profile position- The actor is in a position exactly between full front and full back so that the audience sees the side of the body. This position may be further divided:
a. Profile left-The actor is in profile position facing stage left.
b. Profile right- The actor is in profile position facing stage right.
- One-quarter position- The actor stands halfway between the full front and the profile position.
a. One-quarter position left- The actor is in the one-quarter position facing the down left area.
b. One-quarter position right- The actor is in the one-quarter position facing the down right area.
- Three-quarter position- The actor is in a position halfway between the full back and the profile position.
a. Three-quarter position left—The actor is in the three-quarter position facing the up left area.
b. Three-quarter position right—The actor is in the three-quarter position facing the up right area.
- These should become automatic, without the actor having to think about them.
Stage Movement and the Audience
- When an actor moves from one stage area to another, it is usually for the purpose of coming closer to another actor, a piece of furniture or property, or a window or door.
- Two general types of approaches are possible: crossing in a straight line or making the approach in a curve.
- The straight cross is most often used when approaching another actor or object parallel with your starting point.
- It is possible to avoid upstaging problems by the use of the curved stage cross. This permits the actors to approach another actor or object without being forced to make an awkward adjustment in order to compensate for a difficult body position.
- The curved approach keeps the actor open to the audience during the movement and generally suggests a softer quality in the movement.
Note: I will deal with upstaging on a later post.
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