Saturday, February 06, 2010

Nonon Padilla on the limits of script improvisation

Mae Quesada:
Have you ever worked on a poorly written script?

Nonon Padilla:
Isn't that what PETA does? (Laughter) I do not want to denigrate the great founder of this theater group. Miss Guidote is like that—and she works with bad scripts. For her kasi, scripts are not literature. They are working scripts, only a jump off point to the performance. And the performance is the thing. That is her value and that is what she taught a lot of PETA disciples. The performance is the thing. There are, of course, negative sides to that. One is, you are never able to nuance your performance. Because there is no room in a performance like that. It is what Stanislavsky describes in his book, An Actor Prepares, in the chapter on improvisation, when he said the point of improvisation is not to let go. You have to keep thinking of changing the storyline to make sure the audience is at the edge of their seats. That is the objective. It is never to complete a work, never to give it an architecture. Valid, in that sense. But the great works of arts would never be done.

Transcribed by Tim Dacanay from PETA Artist-Teachers Training on Visual Arts session on February 4, 2010. [Thanks, Tim!]

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