That intro duces a comic note into the perform ance. Noise and conver sa tion in the wings create a muddle and demor al ize the audi ence. ‘It only needs one small bit-part not to show up after the stage manager

has rung the bell for there to be an inev it able hitch. Quite some time elapses while they look for the late comer in the labyrinth ine world back stage. Naturally, he will produce a hundred excuses – he didn’t hear the bell, he couldn’t get dressed and made up, his costume is torn, etc., etc. But can these excuses make up the time lost, repair the damage, fill the gap? ‘Don’t forget, there are many people involved in a show and if they don’t

all pay suffi cient atten tion to their jobs, who can guar an tee there won’t be any hold-ups between the acts, or that actors won’t be late and put the other members of the cast in an impossible posi tion? ‘Stagehands, props men and light ing men can cause delay and confu sion,

too, when they don’t set things prop erly, or take their cue, or give a light ing or sound effect. ‘Every member of the team must feel he is a “cog” in a large, complex

machine, and be clearly aware of the danger to the whole show if he doesn’t do what he should, or if he departs from estab lished proced ure. ‘All you students are small cogs in a complex machine, the theatre, too,

and on you depends the success, fate, well-being of the show, not only while the curtain is up, but when it is down and heavy, phys ical work is done, chan ging huge flats, putting up enorm ous rostrums, and actors are doing quick costume and make-up changes in their dress ing rooms. When this is done in a disorderly, disor gan ized fashion, the audi ence feels it. The back stage exer tions are trans mit ted out front, and are reflec ted in the ponder ous ness of the perform ance. ‘Add to that possible inter vals between the acts and the show seems to be

in great danger. ‘There is one way to avoid that – iron discip line. It’s essen tial in all artistic

team work, be it an orches tra, a choir, or any other kind of ensemble. ‘And it applies even more to a complex stage perform ance. ‘There must be organ iz a tion and model order in our artistic team work, so

that the mech an ics of the show proceed without a hitch. ‘Inner creat ive work demands even greater order, organ iz a tion and discip-

line. The mind is subtle, complex and extremely delic ate. We must work in strict obed i ence to the laws of the human mind. ‘When we remem ber that we create in public, with all the diffi culties

that implies, surroun ded as we are by the intric ate, cumber some work

back stage, it is clear that the demand for total discip line, inner and outer, is even greater. Without it you cannot fulfil all the require ments of the “system”. Everything will be swamped by extern als, your perform ance mode will be destroyed. ‘You can only meet this danger by possess ing even stricter discip line and

placing even greater demands on the team work of each tiny cog in a giant theat rical machine. ‘But the theatre isn’t merely a factory for turning out scenery, it is a factory

for human souls. No less! ‘In the theatre we nurture the living human creations the actor/role

produces. ‘The theatre reaches hundreds of thou sands, millions of people. Millions,

I say! It carries them to the heights of emotion. ‘Now you know what a huge machine, a factory the theatre is. To make sure

the mech an ics func tion prop erly we need strict order and iron discip line. But how are we to do that in such a way they don’t stifle actors but help them? ‘We don’t just manu fac ture sets and staging in the theatre, we create char-

ac ters, living people, their souls, the life of the human spirit. That is much more diffi cult than making sure the show, back stage activ ity, the set and staging are in order. ‘Inner work demands even greater inner discip line and ethics.’