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Arms and The Man


This study guide for Arms and The Man contains background information for the play, suggested themes and topics for discussion, and curriculumbased lessons that are designed by educators and theatre professionals. The lessons and themes for discussion are organized in modules that can be used independently or interdependently according to the class level and time availability. THIS GUIDE WAS WRITTEN AND COMPILED BY BARBARA WORTHY, ROD CHRISTENSEN AND DR. DEBRA MCLAUCHLAN, PHD. ADDITIONAL MATERIALS WERE PROVIDED BY JACKIE MAXWELL, SUE LEPAGE, WILLIAM SCHMUCK AND JEFF SCOLLON.



The Players and The Story ...................................3 Who's Who in the Play .........................................4 Historical Timeline ................................................5 The Playwright .......................................................6 Costume Design Notes ........................................7 Set Design Notes ..................................................8 Did You Know? Play Trivia.................................9 Did You Know? Historical Trivia .....................10 Shades of Shaw ....................................................11 Classroom Applications Before Attending the Play ............................ 12-17 Set Design Activity ........................................ 18-20 After Attending the Play............................... 21-26

Arms and the Man

Running time: 2hrs 15 approx. including one intermission

Previews March 30

Say What? (Text Tips).................................. 27/28 Glossary of Theatre Terms ................................29 Word Puzzle.................................................. 30/31 Response Sheet ....................................................32


The Players

Raina ................................................................................................ Diana Donnelly Bluntschli ........................................................................................ Patrick Galligan A Russian Officer ............................................................................ Martin Happer Petkoff.......................................................................................................Peter Hutt Louka.......................................................................................Catherine McGregor Catherine ...........................................................................................Nora McLellan Nikolai .................................................................................................. Peter Millard Sergius.......................................................................................................Mike Shara A Russian Soldier............................................. Michael Strathmore Directed by Jackie Maxwell Set Designed by Sue LePage Costumes Designed by William Schmuck Lighting Designed by Louise Guinand Original Music by Paul Sportelli Stage Manager: Alison Peddie Assistant Stage Manager: Dora Tomassi Technical Director: Jeff Scollon Intern Director: Lee Wilson

The Story

The moon rises over a small Bulgarian town. Clutching the photograph of her fiancé in dashing military attire, a beautiful young woman sinks into her bed with a romantic novel. Suddenly, gunshots ring out, and as if from the pages of theover a small Bulgarian town. Clutching the room. As heof her fiancé in dashing he is jittery, exThe moon rises book, a desperate soldier bursts into the photograph lights a match, we see military attire, a hausted, and yes, perhaps--even inher bed with a romanticThis is Captain Bluntschli, aring out, and as if fightbeautiful young woman sinks into this light--handsome? novel. Suddenly, gunshots Swiss mercenary from ing with the Serbian army. He is suffering from hunger,the room. As andlights nerves--and he wouldjittery, exthe pages of the book, a desperate soldier bursts into lack of sleep he bad a match, we see he is rather eat chocolate than fire bullets. And now he is a fleeing soldier, hiding in Raina's bedroom. hausted, and yes, perhaps--even in this light--handsome?

The Story

Arms and The Man is considered onceof Shaw's most entertaining, deftly written comedies. Set against the backone of Shaw's most entertaining, deftly written comedies. ground thethe Serbo-Bulgarian conflict 1885, here we get to know Raina, her deliciouslyearly 20th family and of Serbo-Bulgarian conflict of of 1885, the Shaw production is updated to the eccentric century to take advantage outrageous fiancé, and of of that timerunaway soon-to-be her "chocolate cream soldier". And to household, her of the style and fashions course, the period. In the romantic mountains of Bulgaria we get as know Raina Petkoff, her deliciously eccentric the foibles household, her outrageous fiancé, and of course, run heroism and militarism are laid bare against family and of middle-class pretensions, love and romance the runaway "chocolate cream soldier". Raina saves him from certain death, and does not see him again until he amok. returns the following spring. And as heroism and militarism are laid bare against the foibles of middle-class pretensions, love and romance run amok in what Shaw called his `anti-romantic comedy'. Jackie Maxwell, Director.


The Stranger

who's WHO

Captain Bluntschli:

n he M a s and T Arm


Bernard Shaw didn't want to give his characters names at first...they were just generic `no-names'...but a friend changed his mind...

A Swiss mercenary

with the Serbian army who carries chocolate instead of rifle cartridges. He is capable and unaffected; and although life for him is `something quite sensible and serious', in the end he is revealed as a suppressed romantic. And although his common sense and stability prove admirable, in the end it is his romantic streak that captures Raina's love. Sergius Saranoff: A Bulgarian soldier who has lived a life full of ornamental honour, chivalry, patriotism and heroism. Extraordinarily selfobsessed, he lives up to his ideal of the perfect soldier and gentleman but is forced to accept his own weaknesses. Handsome, appealing, funny and appalling, he is perhaps the anti-hero of the play.

The Daughter Raina Petkoff: A beautiful, young Bulgarian woman, engaged to Major Sergius, one of the heroes of the Serbo-Bulgarian war. She is child-like, a romantic, in love with heroism, gallantry, and with what she believes to be the splendid nobleness of war. But her eyes are opened to the reality of life by Bluntschli, who in turn then becomes the catalyst for all her romantic dreams to give way to true romance. The Father Major Petkoff: Raina's father, a cheerful, excitable, insignificant, unpolished man, who Shaw describes as `naturally unambitious, except as to his income and his importance in local society.' The war provided him with an enviable military rank, and a great degree of self-importance.

The Heroic Lover

The Maid

Louka: A servant in the Petkoff household. A feisty, proud peasant girl; she disdains the work of a servant and uses her earthy strength and defiance to propel herself to a better future. Nikolai: A servant in the Petkoff household. He is intelligent, cool of temperament, with the complacency of a servant who values his rank in servitude, and who has no illusions of his role in life. The Servant

The Mother Catherine Petkoff: Raina's mother, an energetic, magnificent, free-thinking artistic woman, determined to be bourgeois rather than merely the wife of a mountain farmer, or a soldier. She is businesslike and efficient when necessary, extravagant and outrageous when she chooses.



10th century: First unification of the Serbians under Byzantine sovereignty. 1389, June 15: Turkish victory over the Serbians at the battle of Polje. 1459-1462-1463: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina become Turkish provinces. 1699: Treaty of Karlovitz returns Croatia to the Habsburgs. 1914, June 28: Assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo precipitates Europe into war. 1918: Proclamation of the Kingdom of the Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes ("first Yugoslavia") in Belgrade. 1941, April: Invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis forces. Capitulation and Italo-German occupation.

1945: Proclamation of the Federal People's Repub1739: Treaty of Belgrade - Austria restores Serbia lic ("second Yugoslavia") under Marshall Tito. to the Ottoman EmThe Balkans pire. 1948: Break between Tito and Stalin. Early 19th century: Emergence of Croa1980: Death of Tito. tian and Slovenian The federation hit by nationalism, along economic crisis. with a "Yugoslav" 1991, June 6: Slove(literally Slavs of the nia and Croatia proSouth) consciousclaim their independness. ence. 1876-1877: Serbian 1991, August: The war against the federal army Turks. launches a massive 1878: Treaty of Bermilitary assault in lin recognizes SerCroatia. bian independence. 1991, October: Bos1885: Serbia declared nia-Herzegovina prowar on Bulgaria and claims its independwere completely deence. feated at Slivnitza 1992: Outbreak of (Nov. 17). They were war in Bosnia. saved from invasion by the intervention 1993, January: Bosof Austria. (Shaw's play Arms and The Man opens nia divided into three ethnic states (Owen Stoltenhere). berg Plan). 1908: Bosnia-Herzegovina annexed by AustriaHungary. 1912: First Balkan War (Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, Montenegro against Turkey). 1913: Second Balkan War (Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria). 1995, November: Dayton Agreements bring an end to the war in Bosnia. 1998: Serbian police and Yugoslav army operations in Kosovo. 1999 (Spring): NATO bombardments in Serbia, dissuasion force in Kosovo.


GBS--exposed GBS--

Name: George Bernard Shaw. Born: Died: Role: Father: Mother:

1856, Dublin, Ireland.

1950, Hertfordshire, UK.

One of the 20th century's great writers and thinkers.

George Carr Shaw, a failed corn-merchant with a drinking problem and a squint.

Lucinda Elizabeth "Bessie" Gurly, a professional singer and the sole disciple of an eccentric voice teacher, George Vandeleur Lee, with whom she later eloped.


Lucinda Frances "Lucy" and Elinor Agnes "Yuppy".

Family Nickname: Quirks: Left part of


his estate to fund new alphabet based on symbols for sounds.

Best Known For: Humour; being provocative and controversial; flame coloured beard. Greatest Hits: Arms and the Man, Pygmalion, St. Joan (Nobel Prize 1925), Heartbreak House,

Man and Superman, Candida, Mrs Warren's Profession.

Likes: Socialism; vegetarianism; music; women (passionately platonic). Dislikes: Believed to be celibate entire 45 years of Favourite Foods: Favourite Clothes:

marriage; his name `George'; school.

Anything sweet, especially cakes covered in marzipan and icing sugar. Tweed knickerbocker suit.

"I've posed nude for a photographer in the manner of Rodin's `Thinker' but I merely looked constipated." GBS


What will they wear?!

William Schmuck, Costume Designer: "When Jackie Maxwell [the director] and I spoke, she suggested moving the era of the play from its original era of 1880s to circa 1910. Jackie's personal taste seems to eschew the ultra fussy and Victorian world, and 1910 is a more columnar period and less cumbersome for woman's dress, and suggests a movement towards something more modern. The challenge of course, is to provide costumes that are true to the character of our heroine, which is somewhat romantic by nature, but not define her by those clichéd frilly traits - basically letting the simplicity of the actresses' natural beauty and femininity shine through. My approach then is more subtractive, in that I will make Raina simple and the rest of the characters more complicated and outrageous.

Costume Design for Catherine Petkoff by William Schmuck

During this era, fashion designers such as Paul Poiret were fascinated with Orientalism and much of their esthetic is exactly what I am giving Catherine. Similarly, Eastern ethnicity will be reflected in the robes of Petkoff having an upscale Russian flavour, using fine fabrics with richness of gold embroidery, and by contrast in the more rustic embroidered peasant dress of Louka and Nikolai. W.S.

Costume Design for Raina by William Schmuck


The set

structure. The play is very forward looking Lepage: "The setting of and we want to crethe play is a fictitious ate a production with Bulgaria at the end of the energy and wit, that 19th century, and this is does not look too the source of much of its `old-fashioned' - a comedy and social satire. Bulgarian world that It seems slightly ridicuhas very few Eurolous, but Shaw, as always, pean traits and leans works an extraordinary toward something number of ideas about Preliminary drawing: Act One: Arms and The Man ethnic and stylized. society, politics, and especially war into his comic And if you look at the work and style of the artist Gustav Klimt you'll see how he inspired the set d e s i g n . " S . L . Shaw Festival's Technical Director, Jeff It was during this time that Art Nouveau - New Art Scollon on Technical Theatre and Autoflourished. Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was one of CAD : When I receive a set design, whether in CAD the famous painters of the movement. Art Nouveau came into being as a rebellion against anything tra(Computer Aided Design) or on paper, it has to be assessed ditional and as a reaction to the Industrial Revoluand approved for construction. Many factors are inter-related, tion. But it became so successful that it spread into and affect the efficiency of each other. Here's my check list: the commercial world of high fashion, jewellery *Audience safety and decorative arts. Artists and designers of the *Actor and crew safety on set movement favored organic lines and contours. *Set Materials & Construction budget Klimt favoured gold and silver colours in his art *Scenic Art labour and materials budgets work - a heritage from his father's profession as a *Scene change requirements gold and silver engraver. This extraordinary period *Rigging issues of art and design lasted from 1880 to 1915. *Automation requirements *Fly system requirements *Changeover feasibility *Repertory storage space *Transport (to theatre) issues *Lighting Design considerations *Electrical elements *Running crew requirements *Audio consideration *Audience sightlines

See example of floor plan opposite, and Pages 19/20 for related Classroom Activity.

Set Designer, Sue

Arms and The Man: Act One - Layout Set Designer: Sue LePage Technical Director: Jeff Scollon


Did you know?

Oscar vs Bernard:

In 1908, Oscar Straus wrote The Chocolate Soldier, an operetta based on Arms and

The Man. One of Straus' librettists, Leopold Jacobson, contacted Shaw's German agent to negotiate the rights

to adapt Arms and The Man as an operetta. Shaw was not a fan of Jacobson's writing and wrote that he was "a putrid opera bouffe in the worst taste of 1860." In the end, however, Shaw gave permission with three distinct conditions: none of his dialogue or his characters' names could be used; the libretto was to be noted as a parody; and he would receive no compensation. Big mistake. It was a huge international success! It had its premiere in 1908 in Vienna, moved to New York in 1909, London's West End in 1910, and was seen here in Canada, in Toronto, 1911 - before Arms and The Man. It was also filmed as a silent movie in 1915. Shaw hated the operetta version ­ he felt they had removed the political overtones and made it too sweet. He vowed to never again release the rights to any of his plays for musical adaptation. But after his death, Pygmalion was set to music by Lerner and Lowe, and became the phenomenally successful and much loved musical My Fair Lady.

"I have the gift of neither the spoken nor the written word, especially if I have to say something about myself or my work. Whoever wants to know something about me, as an artist--the only notable thing--ought to look carefully at my pictures and try and see in them what I am and what I want to do." Gustav Klimt

Arms and The Man

premiered at the Ave-

nue Theatre, London, on April 21, 1894, and opened at New York's Herald Square Theatre in September 1894. It was the first Shaw play ever to appear in North America. Although Broadway revivals of this play have been infrequent, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne had a lengthy run in 1925-6, and a 1985 cast included Glenne Headly, Raul Julia and Kevin Kline. The first Canadian production was in May 1923 by the Cameron Mathews English Players, a resident stock company at Toronto's Princess Theatre.

Toronto's Princess Theatre





from 1895-1930 at 167 King Street West. It opened in 1889 as the Academy of Music and was the first public building in the city with electric lights. It had a banquet room, art gallery, drawing room and ballroom, and was renamed the Princess in 1895 after being refurbished. It burned down in 1915 and reopened as the New Princess in 1917, operated into the 1930s and was finally demolished in 1934 for the widening of University Avenue.



On Military Uniforms by William Schmuck

Whatever period one sets this play in, the constant is the military uniforms. As Bluntschli is the chocolate cream soldier of Raina's dreams, the military uniforms must be spectacular and capture the romantic ideal of the male warrior. Historically the uniforms of the era in which Shaw has set the play are quite impressive. The uniforms of the 20th century are moving towards something more functional, less showy. As the scale and potency of weapons improve, the uniforms of the 20th century become less intimidating and are not even seen during combat. It is no longer about show but more about camouflage. We are taking a bit of license with the uniforms to retain their old world appeal, since historically war in that part of the world seems pervasive. The arrogance of Sergius and his ultimate surrender to Louka, the feisty proud peasant girl, seems best served Circa 1885 Costume Design for WW I by the contrast of a very impressive uniform.

Sergius, Arms and The Man by William Schmuck, 2006

(1914-18) Costume Design for Journey's End by Cameron Porteous, Shaw Festival 2005

Friend or Foe?

For Bulgarians, the Turks and Greeks were enemies, the Serbs were assumed friends, and Romanians and Albanians appeared only in episodes. For Greeks, the Turks were enemies, while Serbs and Bulgarians were no more than secondary rivals with claims bigger than possibilities. For Serbs, their enemies were Turks and Austrians, Bulgarians were friends although underestimated, while Greeks were worth envying. With the rise of the Balkan tensions at the end of the 19th century and especially after the Balkan wars the situation changed and hatred rose widely. In the Balkan textbooks from the period between the World Wars almost all the neighbours were considered enemies.

Oh, Slivnitza, let God damn you, Oh, Slivnitza, you heroes' sepulcher, You left many mothers in tears, Where two brother peoples fought and killed themselves.

This song was very popular around the turn of the century. Several variations of it were available and it was sung even in the Western Bulgarian lands.

No TV, No Radio, No Internet, No Cell !

So how did news spread? There were two mighty instruments--newspapers and textbooks. And who read them? Mostly the educated, literate strata of society. They were used for major propaganda, and were important weapons. But how would you know if you were reading the truth? What countries today control their people's `knowledge' ?

you Did Know?


Shades of shaw

Shaw the Boy: "I may add that I was incorrigibly idle & worthless as a schoolboy, & am proud of the fact." But his bedtime reading consisted of the entire works of Dickens and Shakespeare! Shaw the Rebel:

"Do not do unto others as you expect they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same." Shaw the Lover: He

Shaw the Veggie: "Meat is poison to the system. No-one should live on dead things." And he believed this to be the reason he stayed mentally and physically fit into his 90's.

loved women ­ had lifelong affairs with many, in letters, poetry and prose - but rarely of the flesh; and was a major supporter of women's emancipation -- "she is the slave of duty." . Shaw the Socialist: Shaw believed in activism with the use of the intellect and his weapons were his words: "Socialism is ...the economist's hatred of waste and disorder, the aesthete's hatred of ugliness and dirt, the lawyer's hatred of injustice, the doctor's hatred of disease, the saint's hatred of the seven deadly sins."

Shaw the Superman: Shaw was interested in everything, had an opinion on everything, and criticized everything. No thought went unrecorded or unexpressed. The personal letters that he wrote in his lifetime comprise five large volumes. He wrote plays, articles, essays and some 55 plays, and brought a new adjective into the English language: Shavian, a term used to embody all his brilliant qualities. Shaw wrote until his death in 1950.


Classroom Applications

The following pages suggest questions and activities students might explore BEFORE attending Arms and The Man. Activities relate to Ministry of Education expectations for Drama and Dance at the junior, intermediate and senior levels. To obtain Ontario Curriculum documents, visit


Balkan Unrest in the 1880s Much of Europe in the 1880s was embroiled in bitter dispute over land and power. Originally set in Bulgaria in 1885, Arms and The Man brings characters together who battled in a conflict involving Russians and Serbians. * * * Investigate the causes and effects of "the Bulgarian Crisis" of 1885-1887. Research The Battle of Slivnitza (1885). Compare a map of Europe in 1885 with a map of Europe today. Notice the location of Bulgaria on each one.

Theme One VALOUR

As a central theme of Arms and The Man, the concept of valour describes the bravery and courage of warriors in combat.


What is Valour? In a debate format, decide whether or not the situations described below demonstrate valour. Situation #1 Without consulting his more experienced superiors, an officer leads his soldiers into an extremely dangerous situation. He is victorious, but only because the enemy's weaponry is defective. At the time of his attack, the officer is unaware of the defect in his enemy's weaponry.

One side of the debate will argue that the officer should be awarded a medal of valour for his actions; the other side will argue that he should be court-martialed for recklessly endangering the lives of his men.


Theme One, continued ACTIVITY

Situation #2 An experienced warrior explains combat by comparing young and old soldiers. Young soldiers carry a lot of ammunition and attack their enemies directly, with the result that they are usually hungry and open to injury or death. Old soldiers carry food and are careful to protect themselves in battle, with the result that they survive longer.

One side of the debate will argue that young soldiers show more valour than old soldiers; the other side will argue that old soldiers show more valour than young soldiers.

Situation #3 A man enlists in war as a mercenary (paid soldier). He is a citizen of neither country involved in the dispute and will serve whichever side hires him. In battle, he conducts himself well and earns the respect of his fellows.

One side of the debate will argue that a soldier's valour does not require patriotism; the other side will argue that valour cannot exist without a patriotic goal.


Is War Glorious? Although the original setting of Arms and The Man is in war-torn Bulgaria, the characters are removed from battle and those not involved in combat do not witness its victims. The violent realities of war are thus easily hidden and even ignored, while the life of a soldier on the field has the potential to become glorified. Characters who have witnessed battle offer several reminders that war is not a glorious experience.

Continued on next page


Theme One, continued ACTIVITY

* * * * *

In pairs, students draw from a hat an image of war as expressed in Arms and The Man (images provided in the box below). Using movement and mime, students create a sequence of actions to depict their selected image. Half the class performs their sequences while the other half observes. Switch places. Discuss the various impressions of war that emerge from the sequences depicted.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

All soldiers are afraid to die. If the enemy finds me, I promise you a fight: a devil of a fight. I can stand 2 days of heavy firing without showing it much, but no man can stand three days. I'm as nervous as a mouse. Would you like to see me cry? You can't guess how splendid the charge against the enemy was!! Our gallant soldiers with their eyes and swords flashing. I've not had two hours of undisturbed sleep since I joined the war. I haven't closed my eyes for 48 hours . Our men want to search for the enemy, and they are wild and drunk and furious. The sergeant ran up to us as white as a sheet and told us they'd sent the wrong ammunition. The enemy was charging right at us. They cut us to bits. Soldiering is the coward's art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong and keeping out of harm's way when you are weak. Get your enemy at a disadvantage and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms. A soldier gets his life saved in all sorts of ways by all sorts of people. Soldiers can cut throats but are afraid of their officers. Soldiers stand by and see one another punished like children, and even help do it when they are ordered.



Integrity involves acting with honesty and abiding by moral principles of behavior. Events that challenge the integrity of characters in Arms and The Man include: (a) telling secrets (b) gossiping (c) lying, and (d) cheating in romance. These challenges to integrity also exist in the lives of teenagers today.



In pairs, students decide on one of the four challenges listed above (telling secrets, gossiping, lying, and cheating in romance). This will become the topic of a short scene the pair will improvise. With their partners, students decide on a setting and teenage characters they will play. Students decide on an appropriate sequence of events that lead to an invitation to behave immorally and without integrity, based on the topic they have selected. Students improvise two versions of the outcome. In both versions, the invitation to behave with out integrity exists. In the first version, both characters give in to temptation. In the second version, at least one character maintains integrity. Students present one or both versions of their scenes. The class discusses why people often choose to behave without integrity.

* * *

* *


Theme Three IDENTITY

From the ancient Greeks to the present, dramatists have created characters who ask: "Who am I and where do I belong?" In Arms and The Man, Shaw alludes to these questions in various ways.


Who Am I Based on First Impressions? Read the following first impressions of characters in Arms and The Man. Discuss the initial opinions formed by the class. Character #1 Wrapped in fur, a young woman of 23 stands on a starlit balcony looking out dreamily at snowy white mountains. Inside, her bedroom is lit by candles and decorated with ornamental textiles. Her visible possessions include a pile of paperback novels, a box of chocolates, and a large phototograph of a handsome military officer. Character #2 In the dark of night, a 35-year-old fugitive seeks a hiding place. Of medium height and build, he is bespattered with mud and blood. His torn and tattered military uniform matches his overall dirty and unkempt appearance. Strapped to his chest is a revolver case. When he realizes that someone has seen him, he threatens: "Don't call out or you'll be shot." Character #3 As reported by a messenger, a young and inexperienced soldier is the hero of a decisive military battle. Defying his commanders and taking matters into his own hands, he has led a charge across the enemy line. Spurred by his example, his followers thundered like an avalanche and scattered their foe like wheat in a field.


Theme Three, continued

Who Am I Based on Gender Stereotypes?


Several characters in Arms and The Man make statements about male and female identity and behaviour. From the quotations provided below, suggest stereotype expectations of men and women in society.


* * * * * * Assign the class into mixed gender groups of approximately 4 students. In their groups, students determine an effective order for the quotations below to be spoken. Next they assign quotations to each member of the group. Students practice reciting the quotations in the order they have decided. Students present the quotations to the class. The class decides the effectiveness of the quotations in both identifying and questioning gender stereotypes.

(Spoken by a woman to a woman) The world is really a glorious world for women who can see its glory and men who can act its romance. (Woman to woman) What faithless little creatures girls are. (Man to woman) I am a brave man. My heart jumped like a woman's at the first shot, but in the charge I was brave. (Woman to man) Although I am only a woman, I think at heart I am as brave as you. (Man to woman) You're an angel. (Woman to man who feels cheated by other men) The women are on your side; and they will see that justice is done you. (Man to woman) I have gone through war like a knight in a tournament with his lady looking down on him. (Man to woman) You little know how unworthy even the best man is of a girl's pure passion. (Man to woman) A gentleman has no right to hurt a woman under any circumstances. (Woman to man) Men never seem to me to grow up. They all have schoolboy ideas. (Man to his wife when planning to give orders to other men) You may as well come too. They'll be far more frightened of you than of me. (Man to woman) All my deeds have been yours. You inspired me.



Computers and Theatre: AutoCAD AutoCAD stands for Computer-Aided Design and/or Computer-Aided Drafting. In theatre, designers use the AutoCAD software program to create floor plans that provide a `blue print' for the actual set seen on stage. When creating the set design for a production, a designer will gather from a variety of sources. Discussions with the director and the production team ­ designers for costumes, lights, sound and music - are vital to help create the world of the play. Together they build a vision, drawing inspiration from each other and the play. It helps to know a few things about stage blocking and movement when thinking about building a set and creating acting areas for the performers. Actors like to be seen and heard. Blocking: The action of moving an actor around the set. Stage positions are defined for a performer as if they are standing on the stage, looking out at the audience: Stage Left, Stage Right, Upstage, Downstage, or Centre stage. e.g. `stage left' (SL) - the left hand side of the stage, facing the audience. (From the audience, this side of the stage is considered `audience or house right) e.g. `downstage centre' (DC)- front of the stage, in the centre. "upstage centre' (UC)- near the back, in the middle. If you enter from `Stage Right' (SR) you appear to the audience on their left, (or `Audience or House Left').

Arms and The Man: Preliminary Drawing - Act One Set Designer: Sue LePage


CREATING A SET, continued

Below are the opening lines of Shaw's play, Arms and The Man. His stage directions are there to `set up' the background and action of the opening scene. Read the following paragraph, paying attention to the description and details of the setting. Night: A lady's bedchamber in Bulgaria, in a small town near the Dragoman Pass, late in November in the year 1885. Through an open window with a little balcony a peak of the Balkans, wonderfully white and beautiful in the starlit snow, seems quite close at hand, though it is really miles away. The interior of the room is not like anything to be seen in the west of Europe. It is half rich Bulgarian, half cheap Viennese. Above the head of the bed, which stands against a little wall, cutting off the left hand corner of the room, is a painted wooden shrine, blue and gold, with an ivory image of Christ, and a light hanging before it in a pierced metal ball suspended by three chains. The principal seat, placed towards the other side of the room and opposite the window, is a Turkish ottoman. The counter pane and hangings of the bed, the window curtains, the little carpet, and all the ornamental textile fabrics in the room are oriental and gorgeous; the paper on the walls is occidental and paltry. The washstand, against the wall on the side on the side nearest the ottoman and window, consists of an enameled iron basin with a pail beneath it in a painted metal frame, and a single towel on the rail at the side. The dressing table, covered with a cloth of many colours, with an expensive toilet mirror on it. The door is on the side nearest the bed; and there is a chest of drawers between. This chest of drawers is also covered by a variegated native cloth; and on it there is a pile of paper backed novels, a box of chocolate creams, and a miniature easel with a large photograph of an extremely handsome officer, whose lofty bearing and magnetic glance can be felt even from the portrait. The room is lighted by a candle on the chest of drawers, and another on the dressing table with a box of matches beside it. On the next page is a copy of The Shaw's 2006 AutoCAD floor plan for Arms and The Man. Based on the stage directions above, answer the following questions and indicate your answer by writing the number of the question in the correct area on the floor plan. 1. Indicate where the bed is positioned on the set. 2. Indicate the location of the open window. 3. Indicate the location of the dressing table. 4. Where do you think the easel with large photograph should be? 5. Where is the dressing table with the box of chocolate creams? 6. If the easel with photograph was moved upstage centre (USC), where would that be? 7. If the director told an actor to enter from stage left (SL), where is that? 8. If an actor is blocked to walk from upstage right (USR) to downstage left (DSL); show with arrows. 9. Where is the audience in relation to the stage? 10. On the floor plan write down where you are and what time it is when the play begins.



CREATING A SET, continued

Arms and The Man: Act One - CAD Layout

Set Designer: Sue LePage Technical Director : Jeff Scollon Below in a copy of the floor plan for Arms and The Man using AutoCAD. An industry standard now, AutoCAD is the method used to transfer the design to other departments. "If the design is not already on CAD, I will do an outline drawing myself," says Scollon. " I make sure that everyone is working with the same information: the shop uses the outline that I create so that what gets built is the size that I'm expecting; I forward the stage plan to Stage Management, Lighting, Props, and the deck crew, and I use the CAD to make sure that it will all fit within the theatre." J.S.

Refer to the questions on Page 19 and indicate your answer by writing the number of the question in the correct area on the floor plan. See Page 8 for more information on Set Design.


The following pages suggest questions and activities students might explore

AFTER attending Arms and The Man


The Title of the Play "Arms and the man" is a phrase taken from the first line of the Aenead, an epic poem written by Virgil in the 1st century BC. The poem narrates the mythical adventures of Aeneas, chosen by Fate to wage furious battles in his mission to continue the Trojan race in far-off lands. * * Research events of the Trojan War that caused Aeneas to flee his homeland. Report on some experiences of Aeneas in his journey.

Theme One VALOUR


Like Arms and The Man, Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I questions the notion of valor and compares the actions of young and inexperienced soldiers with their older and more seasoned comrades. According to Shakespeare's Falstaff, a survivor of the battlefield, "The better part of valour is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life." (V, iv, 119). Falstaff's words were the source of the expression: Discretion is the better part of valour. * * * In your own words, what is meant by the statement Discretion is the better part of valour? To what extent does Arms and The Man demonstrate the truth or falsehood of the statement? Might the statement ever be used to justify acts of cowardice?



Ethical Dilemmas On a few occasions, characters in Arms and The Man encounter situations that present difficult moral decisions. As a class, discuss the choices made by various characters from the following examples.

Example #1 With her father and fiancé fighting in battle, Raina voluntarily hides an enemy soldier in her bedroom because she disagrees with the practice of torturing and killing fugitives of war. This action forces her to lie to her mother and a Russian police officer.

What elements of Raina's behaviour displayed integrity? Has she been disloyal to her family and country?

Example #2 When Louka the servant-girl begins to tell Sergius about Raina and the fugitive soldier, Sergius interrupts: "You will please remember that a gentleman does not discuss the conduct of the lady he is engaged to with her maid."

Is it ever morally acceptable to disclose secret information about a girlfriend/boyfriend? If so, give examples of appropriate circumstances. Would it have made a difference if Louka were not Raina's servant?

Example #3 When Bluntschli arrives at the Petkoff house to return the coat lent to him as a fugitive, Catherine attempts to hide him from her husband. When her husband arrives and asks about his coat, she insists that it hasn't left the closet and pretends that she has never seen Bluntschli before.

What were Catherine's reasons for lying to her husband? Do these reasons justify her behaviour? Do honourable motives ever excuse immoral acts?


Theme Two, continued


Writing-in-Role/Improvisation Imagine yourself as a teenager in one of the following situations: a) a friend asks you to do something that involves lying to your parents; b) you know something negative about your friend's girlfriend/boyfriend that your friend doesn't know; c) you can avoid causing trouble if you lie. * Flesh out the details of your imaginary situation so that the situation becomes more specific. For example, what does your friend ask you to do that involves lying to your parents? What do you know about your friend's boyfriend or girlfriend? What lie can you tell to avoid causing trouble? To whom? In role as the character facing the situation, write the details of your circumstances. Do not decide on your course of action. Collect the student responses in a jar. Pull them out at random.

* *


Theme Three IDENTITY

Who Am I Based on My Possessions? Some of the humour in Arms and The Man arises from the Petkoffs' snobbish pride of possessions and habits. The family believes that social status is gained by owning a library, having an electric bell, and keeping their laundry out of sight of visitors. Raina calls the family "civilized" because they go to the opera and have visited Vienna. References to washing and bathing add to the humour of the situation.


What status symbols are common among teenagers in your school? How important are brand names and labels when people buy clothes and shoes?


In pairs, create a bristol board collage of magazine and catalogue images depicting status symbols generated by advertisers to attract the teenager market.


The Complexity of Identity The play reveals that stereotypes, shallow descriptions, and individual opinions do not sufficiently represent the complexity of any person's identity. The character of Sergius provides an excellent example. * * * * In small groups, use the excerpts provided on the next pages to depict various facets of the character of Sergius. One excerpt will involve a single character; others pairs; others, more than two characters. Some excerpts are silent; some involve dialogue. You may decide to use the same person in your group to play Sergius throughout the presentation, or you may decide to use different people to play Sergius in various sequences.


Theme Three, continued ACTIVITY

Excerpt #1 (Catherine) CATHERINE: A cavalry charge! Think of that! Sergius defied our Russian commanders--acted without orders--led a charge on his own responsibility--headed it himself--was the first man to sweep through their guns....Oh, Raina, if you have a drop of Bulgarian blood in your veins, you will worship him when he comes back.

Excerpt #2 (Bluntschli and Raina) BLUNTSCHLI: You should have seen the first man in the charge today. RAINA: Tell me. Tell me about him. BLUNTSCHLI: ...A regular handsome fellow, with flashy eyes and a lovely moustache, shouting his war-cry and charging like Don Quixote at the windmills. We did laugh. RAINA: You dared to laugh! BLUNTSCHLI: Yes, but when the sergeant ran up as white as a sheet and told us they'd sent us the wrong ammunition...we laughed out the other side of our mouths...We had no bayonets, nothing. Of course they cut us to bits. And there was Don Quixote flourishing like a drum major, thinking he'd done the cleverest thing ever known, whereas he ought to be court-martialed for it. Of all the fools ever let loose on a field of battle, that man must be the maddest.

Excerpt #3 (Sergius and Louka) SERGIUS: (to himself) Mockery! Mockery everywhere. Everything I think is mocked by everything I do. Coward, liar, fool! Shall I kill myself like a man or live and pretend to laugh at myself? (Louka starts to leave the room) Louka, remember, you belong to me. LOUKA: Is that an insult? SERGIUS: ....Whether it is an insult I neither know nor care. Take it as you please. But I will not be a coward and a trifler. If I choose to love you, I dare marry you, in spite of all Bulgaria. If these hands ever touch you again, they shall touch my affianced bride. LOUKA: We shall see whether you dare keep your word. And take care. I will not wait long. SERGIUS: (folding his arms and standing still) Yes, we shall see. And you shall wait my pleasure.


Theme Three, continued


Excerpt #4 (Petkoff and Catherine) PETKOFF: You must talk to Sergius, my dear, until Raina takes him off our hands. He bores my life about our not promoting him. CATHERINE: He certainly ought to be promoted when he marries Raina. PETKOFF: Yes, so that he can throw away whole brigades instead of regiments. It's no use, my dear. He hasn't the slightest chance of promotion until we're quite sure that the peace will be a lasting one.

Excerpt #5 (Sergius and Raina) RAINA: (looking at him with admiration and worship) My hero! My king! SERGIUS: My queen. (He kisses her forehead)... All my deeds have been yours. You inspired me. I have gone through the war like a knight in a tournament with his lady looking down at him. RAINA: And you have never been absent from my thoughts for a moment. (Very solemnly) Sergius, I think we two have found the higher love. When I think of you, I feel that I could never do a base deed, or think an ignoble thought. SERGIUS: My lady and my saint. RAINA: My lord and my-- SERGIUS: Sh--sh! Let me be the worshipper, dear. You little know how unworthy even the best man is of a girl's pure passion.

Excerpt #6 (Sergius and Bluntschli) SERGIUS: You have deceived me. You are my rival... At six o'clock I shall be in the drilling-ground... alone, on horseback, with my saber. Do you understand? BLUNTSCHLI: Oh, thank you. That's a cavalry man's proposal. I'm in the artillery, and I have the choice of weapons. If I go, I'll take a machine gun. SERGIUS: (with deadly coldness) Take care, sir. It is not our custom in Bulgaria to allow invitations of that kind to be trifled with. BLUNTSCHLI: Don't talk to me about Bulgaria. You don't know what fighting is. But have it your own way. Bring your saber along. I'll meet you. SERGIUS: Shall I lend you my best horse?



(Text Tips) Word

Akimbo Battery


Act II Act I


A position in which the hands are on the hips and the elbows are bowed outward. a) An emplacement for one or more pieces of artillery; b) A set of guns or other heavy artillery, as on a warship; c) An army artillery unit, corresponding to a company in the infantry. To refuse obstinately or abruptly: `She baulked at the very idea'. A blade adapted to fit the muzzle end of a rifle and used as a weapon in close combat. A thoroughly unprincipled person; a scoundrel; a foulmouthed person. Pronounced "bla-gard". Of the middle class; attitudes and behaviour that conform to the standards and conventions of the middle class. A military unit consisting of a number of combat battalions or regiments. Capital city of Romania, since 1862. George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824). Romantic poet and satirist, famous for numerous love affairs. Guided by whim or fancy, rather than judgment; unpredictable. A native of the Spanish province of Castile. Husks of corn, separated by threshing."... Scattered like chaff." Dalliance; flirtation; playful behavior, arousing sexual interest. A people of southern European Russia and adjacent parts of Asia, noted as cavalrymen especially during Czarist times. A military or naval court (tribunal) of officers appointed by a commander to try persons for offenses under military law. Czar (Tsar) Nicholas II, Russia (1868-1918); last crowned Emperor of Russia, ruled 1894 until the Russian Revolution of 1917; Bolsheviks executed entire family in July, 1918. An impractical idealist bent on righting incorrigible wrongs; hero of a satirical chivalric romance by Miguel de Cervantes. Opera by Giuseppe Verdi, of love, revenge and conspiracy.

Baulked Bayonet Blackguard Bourgeois Brigades Bucharest Byron Capriciously Castilian Chaff Coquetry Cossack Court martialled Czar

Act II Act I Act I Act II Act II Act I Act I Act II Act I Act I Act II Act II Act I Act III

Don Quixote Ernani .

Act I Act I



(Text Tips, continued) Word

Field Marshal Forage Fusillade Gaiters Imperturbability Lest Levas Major Middling Perfunctory Philippopolis Peremptorily Prince Alexander Propriety Prosaic Pushkin Regiments Sabre Salver Seamy Servile Sheathing Shew Slivnitza


Act II Act II Act I Act II Act II Act II Act III Act I Act I Act II Act II Act II Act II Act II Act I Act 1 Act II Act I Act II Act II Act II Act I Act I Act 1


An officer in some European armies ranking just below commander in chief. The act of looking or searching for food or provisions. Discharge from firearms fired simultaneously or in rapid succession Heavy cloth covering from instep to the ankle or knee. Calm and unruffled self-assurance. For fear that: `She tiptoed lest her mother should hear her'. Currency from Bulgaria; basic unit is the `lev' divided into 100 `stotinka'. Commissioned rank in Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps that is above captain and below lieutenant colonel. Fairly; moderately; of no exceptional quality or ability. Done routinely and with little interest or care. Oldest town in the Free State of South Africa, founded in 1823. Expressing a command, dictatorial. Alexander Joseph of Battenberg (1857-1893), the first prince of modern Bulgaria, reigned from 1879 to 1886. The quality of being proper; conformity to prevailing customs and usages; the usages and customs of polite society. Lacking in imagination, spirit; dull; rather matter-of-fact; straight forward. Aleksander Pushkin (1799-1837): Russian poet and author, often considered founder of modern Russian literature. A military unit of ground troops consisting of at least two battalions, usually commanded by a Colonel. A stout sword with a curved blade and thick back. A small tray used, in this play, for presenting calling cards. Sordid: "seamy tales of messy divorces and drug addiction." Submissive; slave-like; relating to servitude or forced labour. A case for a blade; to encase or cover, as if using a sheath. Variant of show, pronounced as `show'. Battle of Slivnitza, 17-19 November, 1885, was a Bulgarian victory and the decisive battle of the Serbo-Bulgarian war.



BLOCKING: The actor's movement on stage is known as "blocking". The Stage Manager writes the blocking notation into the Prompt Script. COSTUME: Anything that an actor wears on stage is referred to as a costume. The Wardrobe department (the department responsible for creating costumes) provides clothes, shoes, hats, and any personal accessories such as umbrellas, purses and eyeglasses. DROP: A drop is a large piece of painted canvas that is "flown in" by the flyman (see FLYMAN). GREEN ROOM: The green room, usually near the entrance to the stage, is where the actors and crew sit while waiting for their turn to go on stage. One possible explanation of how the green room got its name is that actors used to wait for their entrances at the back of the theatre in an area where the scenery was stored. Perhaps the scenery was green, or the name "scene room" evolved into "green room". ORCHESTRA PIT: The orchestra pit is the place where the musicians perform during a musical. Usually the orchestra pit is between the front row of the audience and the stage. PROPS: A property or "prop" is anything that the audience sees that is not worn by an actor and is not a structural part of the set. Some examples are: tables, chairs, couches, carpets, pictures, lamps, weapons, food eaten during a play, dishes, cutlery, briefcases, books, newspapers, pens, telephones, curtains and anything else you can imagine. PROSCENIUM: A term describing the physical characteristics of a theatre. A proscenium theatre is one in which the audience and the actors are separated by a picture-frame opening that the audience looks through to see the actors. Surrounding this opening is the PROSCENIUM ARCH. If there is an acting area on the audience side of the proscenium arch, it is referred to as the APRON or FORESTAGE. SCRIM: A scrim is a piece of gauze that is painted and used as part of the scenery. When a scrim is lit from in front it is opaque, you cannot see through it. When a scrim is lit from behind it is transparent, you can see through it. This allows for many different visual effects to be created by the lighting and set designers. THRUST STAGE: A thrust stage is a stage that is surrounded on three sides by the audience.


DIRECTOR: The person who guides the actors during the rehearsal period as they stage the play. The director is responsible for presenting a unified vision of the play to the audience. DESIGNERS: The people who work with the director to decide what the production will look like. Designers must choose the colour, shape and texture of everything you see on the stage. There are several areas that need to have designers: costumes, set, lighting and sometimes sound. The designers work very closely with the director to create the environment in which the play will take place. DYER: The person who dyes fabrics for the Wardrobe department. FLYMAN: The person responsible for the manipulation of the scenery which is in the fly gallery (the space above the stage). The scenery is manipulated by ropes attached to a counterweight system. MILLINER: The person who makes the hats which the actors wear on stage. PROPS BUYER: The person who buys items that will be used or adapted to become props. Props buyers also purchase the raw material used to build props. SCENIC ARTISTS: The people who are responsible for painting and decorating the surfaces of the set. Some of the techniques they use include: wood graining, stenciling, marbling and brickwork. They also paint the drops and scrims that are flown in. STAGE CARPENTER: The person who ensures that everything runs smoothly on stage during a performance. The stage carpenter and stage crew are responsible for changing the sets between scenes and acts. STAGE MANAGER: The person who makes sure that all rehearsals and performances run smoothly. During a performance the stage manager also makes sure that all of the technical elements (e.g. lights, sound, curtains flying in and out) happen at exactly the right time. TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: The person who is responsible for coordinating all of the technical elements of a production. Technical directors work with the people who build the sets, props, costumes, wigs and special effects to make sure that everything runs smoothly.


Theatre Terms crossword Puzzle

Complete the puzzle using the clues shown below.

Across 1. A place where the musicians perform during a musical, usually between the front row of the audience and the stage. 3. The actor's movement on stage. The Stage Manager writes this notation into the Prompt Script. 5. Piece of painted gauze used as part of the scenery, which when lit allows for many different visual effects to be created by the lighting & set designers. 7. Anything that the audience sees that is not worn by an actor and is not a structural part of the set. 10. The people who work with the director to decide what the production will look like. 13. Person who guides the actors during rehearsals, and is responsible for presenting a unified vision of the play to the audience. 14. A stage that is surrounded on three sides by the audience. 15. The person who ensures that everything runs smoothly and on time during a performance. 16. Usually near the entrance to the stage where the actors and crew sit while waiting for their turn to go on stage. 17. A large piece of painted canvas that is "flown in" by the flyman. Down 2. Person responsible for coordinating technical elements of a production & works with people who build the sets, props, costumes, wigs, special effects. 4. The people who are responsible for painting and decorating the surfaces of the set. 6. The person who make the hats which the actors wear on stage. 8. A term describing a theatre in which the audience & actors are separated by a picture-frame opening that the audience looks through to see the actors. 9. The person responsible for the manipulation of the scenery which is in the fly gallery (the space above the stage). 11. The person who buys items and raw materials that will be used or adapted to become props. 12. Anything that an actor wears on stage. 13. The person who colours fabrics for the Wardrobe department.


Theatre Terms crossword solution

Across 1. A place where the musicians perform during a musical, usually between the front row of the audience and the stage. 3. The actor's movements on stage, always noted in the Stage Manager `s Prompt Script. 5. Piece of painted gauze used as part of scenery, which when lit allows for many different visual effects to be created by the lighting & set designers. 7. Anything that the audience sees that is not worn by an actor and is not a structural part of the set. 10. The people who work with the director to decide how the production will look and sound. 13. Person who guides the actors during rehearsals, and is responsible for presenting a unified vision of the play to the audience. 14. A stage that is surrounded on three sides by the audience. 15. The person who ensures that everything runs smoothly and on time during a performance. 16. Usually near the entrance to the stage where the actors and crew sit while waiting for their turn to go on stage. 17. A large piece of painted canvas that is "flown in" by the flyman. Down 2. Person responsible for coordinating technical elements of a production & works with people who build sets, props, costumes, wigs, special effects. 4. The people who are responsible for painting and decorating the surfaces of the set. 6. The person who make the hats that are worn by the actors on stage. 8. Term describing a theatre where the audience is separated from the actors by an arch-like opening, similar to a picture frame. 9. The person responsible for the manipulation of the scenery that is kept in the fly gallery (the space above the stage). 11. The person who buys items and raw materials that will be used or adapted to become props. 12. Anything that an actor wears on stage. 13. The person who colours fabrics for the Wardrobe department.



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