Objectives

One often hears American acting teachers proclaiming the Objective as the ground principle of acting technique.

One has to be reminded again that theatre is culturally determined.

It is not surprising that a result oriented society such as the USA should fasten onto such a one-dimensional, mechanistic approach as the Objective. And of course there is a type of modern play and film writing for which it is entirely applicable, where the characters are Very Clever People who know exactly what they want and how to go after it.

But even if human behavior were so logical, why shouldn’t one be able to postulate and place on the stage characters and modes of existence that have yet to be found in our everyday lives? Only to present characters that are driven by objectives, and are thus explainable, is to impose absurd restrictions upon an audience’s experience.

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Jonathan Paul Cook © 2010