Tuesday, December 16, 2008

*Tickets, Tickets*

I bought 'em. Hoorah? I also met probably the second rude employee since I've been here. Tsk. Mean old man at the train station.

Also memorized my part of the script for Japanese. Hoorah? It's really lame-o, about buying a Christmas tree for class. Silly thing. But they don't grade us on creativity, because that would be unethical, so...?

Additionally rewrote/vamped a scene from "A Doll's House" in an attempt to make it fit the "guidelines" for Theatre of Cruelty. We actually were assigned this, I didn't just do it on a whim as the previous sentence suggests. Anyway, original scene:

(I had a different translation, btw)

Helmer. And what is in this parcel?

Nora [crying out]. No, no! you mustn't see that until this evening.

Helmer. Very well. But now tell me, you extravagant little person, what would you like for yourself?

Nora. For myself? Oh, I am sure I don't want anything.

Helmer. Yes, but you must. Tell me something reasonable that you would particularly like to have.

Nora. No, I really can't think of anything--unless, Torvald--

Helmer. Well?

Nora [playing with his coat buttons, and without raising her eyes to his]. If you really want to give me something, you might--you might--

Helmer. Well, out with it!

Nora [speaking quickly]. You might give me money, Torvald. Only just as much as you can afford; and then one of these days I will buy something with it.

Helmer. But, Nora--

Nora. Oh, do! dear Torvald; please, please do! Then I will wrap it up in beautiful gilt paper and hang it on the Christmas Tree. Wouldn't that be fun?

Helmer. What are little people called that are always wasting money?

Nora. Spendthrifts--I know. Let us do as you suggest, Torvald, and then I shall have time to think what I am most in want of. That is a very sensible plan, isn't it?

Helmer [smiling]. Indeed it is--that is to say, if you were really to save out of the money I give you, and then really buy something for yourself. But if you spend it all on the housekeeping and any number of unnecessary things, then I merely have to pay up again.

Nora. Oh but, Torvald--

Helmer. You can't deny it, my dear little Nora. [Puts his arm round her waist.] It's a sweet little spendthrift, but she uses up a deal of money. One would hardly believe how expensive such little persons are!

Nora. It's a shame to say that. I do really save all I can.

Helmer [laughing]. That's very true,--all you can. But you can't save anything!

Nora [smiling quietly and happily]. You haven't any idea how many expenses we skylarks and squirrels have, Torvald.

Helmer. You are an odd little soul. Very like your father. You always find some new way of wheedling money out of me, and, as soon as you have got it, it seems to melt in your hands. You never know where it has gone. Still, one must take you as you are. It is in the blood; for indeed it is true that you can inherit these things, Nora.

Nora. Ah, I wish I had inherited many of papa's qualities.

Helmer. And I would not wish you to be anything but just what you are, my sweet little skylark.


(A room, bare except for a box. Throughout the scene, HELMER continuously snaps a folded belt into his hand, loudly, threateningly. His voice speaks too loudly, perhaps yelling, throughout, while NORA speaks inaudibly.)

HELMER: What’s in that box?

NORA (meekly, muttering too quietly to be heard): No, Torvald, you must’ve seen that before this evening.

HELMER: Okay. (snaps belt) Tell me, shopaholic, what do you want for Christmas?

NORA (winces): Me? Oh, pooh, I don’t want anything.

HELMER (irritated): Oh, yes, you do. (yells at her) Now, just tell me what you want!

NORA (head bowed): No, I really don't know. Oh, yes- Torvald… (glances up)

HELMER (annoyed): What?

NORA (plays with her coat buttons, not looking at him): If you really want to give me something, you could- you could-

HELMER (impatient): Come on, out with it.

NORA (quickly): You could give me money, Torvald. Only as much as you feel you can afford; then later I’ll buy something with it.

HELMER (rolling his eyes): Jesus Christ, Nora. (snaps belt)

NORA: Oh yes, Torvald dear, please! Please! Then I’ll wrap up the notes in pretty gold paper and hang them on the Christmas tree. (pause, continues unsurely) Wouldn’t that be fun?

HELMER (rhetorically): Know what you are?

NORA: Yes, yes, squanderbird; I know. But let’s do as I say, Torvald; then I’ll have time to thin about what I need most. Isn’t that the best way?

HELMER (snaps belt): If I gave you money, you’d just spent it on useless shit.

NORA: Oh, but Torvald-

HELMER: You can’t deny it, Nora. (puts his arm around her waist, menacingly, raising the belt with his other hand.) A woman’s just an expensive pet for a man.

NORA (cowering away): For shame. How can you say such a thing? I save every penny I can.

HELMER (laughs, steps away): But you can’t!

NORA: Hm. If you only knew how many expenses we larks and squirrels have, Torvald.

HELMER: You’re a funny little pet. (slaps belt) Just like your father used to be. Always on the look-out for some way to get money, but as soon as you have any it just runs through your fingers, and you never know where it’s gone. (slaps belt) Well, I suppose I must take you as you are. It’s in your blood. (a bit crazily) Yes, yes, yes, these things are hereditary, Nora.

NORA (defeated, to herself more than to HELMER, audible to the audience): Oh, I wish I’d inherited more of Papa’s qualities.

HELMER (heavy with sarcasm): And I wouldn't wish my darling little songbird to be any different from what she is. (raises belt to strike her)

Uh, Theatre of Cruelty:

The Theatre of Cruelty is a concept in Antonin Artaud's book The Theatre and its Double. “Without an element of cruelty at the root of every spectacle, the theater is not possible. In our present state of degeneration it is through the skin that metaphysics must be made to re-enter our minds” (Artaud, The Theatre and its Double). By cruelty, he meant not sadism or causing pain, but rather a violent, physical determination to shatter the false reality which, he said, "lies like a shroud over our perceptions."

from Wiki

Durn, now you see why my classes are so hard. That's not a very good explanation, but it seems that everything else is just an example. The one she gave was of a squeaky wheel going on throughout the play so that the audience was always in pain. Also, bridging the fourth wall, I think?

Urgle. Anyways, gotta study. Night!


No comments: