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Explain how you would cast Yerma and Maria and how you would direct them in their exchanges in Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 2 Scene 2

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Introduction

Explain how you would cast Yerma and Maria and how you would direct them in their exchanges in Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 2 Scene 2 Clearly there are significant differences between the characters of Yerma and Maria. To highlight these differences, one must choose people with contrasting physical attributes. Likewise, it is necessary to direct them in such a way that their differing attitudes, in particular their differing ideas concerning childbirth and family life. To cast the character of Yerma, I would look for someone relatively tall. Also, I would look for somebody quite gaunt looking, to give the impression of being 'barren'. I would also cast someone with long, black hair and a strong, upright posture to give an idea of strength and determination. Vocally, I would want somebody with a very powerful voice, as Yerma is a powerful character. Maria is a comparatively weaker character; I would cast somebody shorter, with shorter, lighter hair. Also, I would choose somebody with more gentle features than Yerma, to give her the impression of being a more laid back character. ...read more.

Middle

Maria complains of the baby scratching her; 'when he was four months, he covered our faces with scratches!'. She would say this in a light-hearted way, raising her voice at the end, and with a slightly upturned mouth to show she is mirthful. Yerma's reaction, 'But those things don't hurt!' would be similarly jocular. However, later on in the scene, Yerma will become colder and more sincere. The line 'That's a lie! Mothers who say that are weaklings, complainers!'. I would direct her to say this with contempt; she would end her words harshly, almost as if spitting. Each word would be abrupt, and she would narrow her eyebrows. Her posture would be to straighten her back, as if to assume a position of superiority, as this is a subject she is passionate about the subject; she has 'duende', a force driven by passion, inside her. Conversely, Maria is very timid. She would shrink back defensively at this, bending her backbone ever so slightly, and moving back very slightly. ...read more.

Conclusion

Maria would speak in comforting tones; she would raise her voice at the end of each clause, offering suggestions to give Yerma hope. She would speak softly, drawing out her vowel sounds. 'What about your husband?' for example, is a line where she is trying to offer Yerma some hope, speaking in this way. Just before Maria exits, when Yerma is looking at the child, there is another slight change in attitude. Maria says 'In a little while, he'll start to sing!', quite joyfully; she raises her voice at the end, speaks with a high pitch and a steady pace. This will show enthusiasm, love for her baby, and an attempt to lighten the mood. However, when Yerma comments that 'He has the same eyes as you [Maria]', she is crying as she does so. Therefore, her pace would be slow and sad, with a low tone, and she would gently push Maria out of the house. Maria would then go without a word. This would show the awkward difference between the women. Also, it would show that Yerma wants Maria out, so that she can meet with the women in secrecy, to visit the pagan shrine. Haralambos Dayantis JRB ...read more.

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