How does one approach the art of reading a play? The modern psyche is so attuned to visual media, it may seem daunting to create your own “inner movie” when you pick up the text of a play or screenplay. Unlike a novel, the narrative is created to come alive in visual form. But this is a golden opportunity for the reader to ignite his/her own imagination.
You can direct your own production, inside the limitless resources of your own mind! For example, the opening scene of my play OUT OF THE SHADOWS: A STORY OF TONI WOLFF AND EMMA JUNG, takes place in a garden. You can draw on every garden you have even seen, or watered, or imagined. The garden on Jung’s estate can become an archetypal garden, as Toni Wolff steps into it, “in the moist summer of 1910”. If you’d like a jump-start in using your imagination, you can go to You Tube, and view the first seven minutes of OUT OF THE SHADOWS at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tlfer2gtWI
While it is important to read the stage directions, so you can picture where the scene unfolds, a play is largely dialog. OUT OF THE SHADOWS uses monolog to create the character of Carl Jung as seen by each of the women, though the living presence of the man never appears on stage. The reader can create a multi-faceted Jung in his/her imagination, as he emerges in the play from the different perspectives of his wife, and his colleague and great love.
It can also be fun and rewarding to read the dialog out loud, or, ideally, with another person playing the other part. The original production of OUT OF THE SHADOWS employed classical music in transitions from one scene to another. Imagining the resonant tones of Finzi, Shostakovitch, Ravel, or your own favorite composer, could enhance the reading. Better still, play classical music as you read the play.
You can also pour yourself a cup of tea, curl up in your favorite chair, and fire up your mind’s image-making, emotion-making, and intellectual curiosity.
Whatever approach you choose, in reading OUT OF THE SHADOWS, or any other play or screenplay, I commend you to use it as a way to develop, appreciate, and enhance the vast inner resources of your imaginal mind.
I am also proud to announce that my OUT OF THE SHADOWS is the September selection for the on-line book club of the Depth Psychology Alliance, an online association of people all over the world intrigued by the study of Jungian, and other forms of depth psychology. If you are interested in signing up for the book club, go to www.DepthPsychologyAlliance.com and follow the prompts to enroll in the book club. Also, you can listen to a radio interview on the play with myself and Depth Psychology Alliance director, Bonnie Bright by going to the link http://www.depthinsights.com/pages/radio.htm#clark-stern