10 February 2023
Tairov, Alexander Jakovlevich. Notes of a Director. Univ. of Miami Press, 1982.
Alexander Tairov's book Notes of a Director outlines his ideas on the role of the theatre director and stage design. Tairov believed that the director should be the driving creative force behind a production and that the stage design should reflect and enhance the director's point-of-view. He rejected traditional, realistic stage design and instead advocated for a stylized and abstract approach that would create a sense of dream-like fantasy. Tairov believed that this approach would allow the audience to be fully immersed in the world of the play, free from the distractions of everyday life.
Tairov's approach to stage design emphasized the use of symbols and abstract shapes to convey emotions and ideas, rather than naturalistic depictions of physical objects. He also believed that lighting plays a central role in stage design, and that it should be used to create different moods and to focus the audience's attention.
Overall, Tairov's ideas on stage design can be seen as part of his larger belief in the power of the theatre to transport audiences to a different world and to stimulate their imaginations. He believed that the stage design is an integral component of this experience and that it should work in harmony with the performance, creating a unique and powerful theatrical experience.
How is this relevant to contemporary students studying stage design?
Alexander Tairov's ideas presented in "Notes of a Director" can be useful and inspirational for contemporary set design students for many reasons:
- Emphasis on abstract and stylized design: Tairov's belief in the power of abstract and stylized stage design can encourage set design students to think beyond realism and to explore more imaginative and innovative design solutions.
- Use of lighting and color: Tairov's emphasis on the use of lighting and color in stage design can help students to better understand the importance of these elements in creating mood, atmosphere, and meaning in a production.
- Director-centered approach: Tairov's focus on the role of the director as the driving creative force behind a production can help set design students to understand the importance of collaborating closely with the director and working within their vision.
- Importance of symbolism: Tairov's use of symbols and abstract shapes to convey emotions and ideas can inspire set design students to think beyond surface-level design and to create sets that have deeper, symbolic meanings.
- Exploration of the surreal: Tairov's emphasis on creating a dream-like unreality can encourage set design students to push boundaries and explore more unconventional and surreal design approaches. (See Surrealist manifesto)
Overall, Tairov's ideas can provide a valuable alternative perspective for contemporary set design students and can inspire them to think more creatively and experimentally in their own work.