The Conradie Codec : the recoding of meaning in four of my stage adaptations

Conradie, Wilhelm (2015-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this thesis I attempted to analyse the four adaptations I created between 2004 and 2010. The first two products (texts and productions) were created in 2004 and 2005, while I was a student at the Stellenbosch University Drama Department. The third adaptation (text only) was created in 2007, while I was a freelance stage manager. In 2010, I collaborated with a choreographer for the first time to adapt a Shakespeare text into a dance theatre production. The process of adapting a text always starts with an interpretive reading. Extracting information and meaning from a text can also be referred to as ‘decoding’. In the process of creating the adaptation new meaning is written, or ‘encoded’, into the product that must in turn be decoded by the reader or audience member. A term for this decoding and encoding process that is often encountered in the field of video editing (an aspect of my current profession) is a ‘codec’. In video editing a codec is responsible for the decoding of a computer file into a video program that a viewer/audience can engage with, as well as the encoding of a video program into a file. Since I function as the ‘codec’ in these adaptation scenarios, I thought it appropriate to label my approach to the adaptation process, the ‘Conradie codec’. The aim of this reflexive study is to analyse my four adaptations, the processes as well as the products, in order to determine if such a codec truly exists. Research done in adaptation studies was presented in an attempt to define adaptation as both process and product – Linda Hutcheon’s A Theory of Adaptation was particularly useful. This created a framework for the study of each of the four adaptations in chronological order, according to the year in which they were created. The study also draws very generally on the principles of semiotics, especially with respect to the notion of coding. Firstly, the 2004 adaptation of Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author into Twintig akteurs op soek na ‘n [beter] Regisseur was analysed. This was followed by onsindroom (sic), an adaptation of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play. The third adaptation was iForest, which was created in 2007. This was an adaptation of (primarily) Eugene Ionesco’s The Killer. Lastly, the adaptation of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida into When in Love… was studied. It was concluded that, while the ‘Conradie codec’ does exist and was applied in the creation of the four adaptations, its efficiency was limited – predominantly by time constraints. In all four the cases analysed the rehearsal process started when a complete draft of the adapted text was not yet finished. This put enormous pressure on the rehearsal process. While this is accepted when creating a workshop style production, more time is needed to develop the adaptation in order for it to be cohesive. By going through the process of analysing these four adaptations, the Conradie codec has been adapted (or updated) to version 2.0.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie tesis het ek gepoog om my vier verwerkings tot op hede te analiseer. Die eerste twee produkte (tekste en produksies) was in 2004 en 2005 geskep terwyl ek ‘n student was. Die derde verwerking (slegs die teks) was in 2007 geskep terwyl ek ‘n vryskut verhoogbestuurder was. In 2010, het ek vir die eerste keer saam met ‘n choregraaf gewerk om ‘n Shakespeare teks te verwerk na ‘n dansteaterproduksie. Die verwerkingsproses van ‘n teks begin altyd met die lees van die teks op ‘n interpreterende wyse. Hierdie proses, om betekenis uit ‘n teks te ontgin, kan ook ‘dekodering’ genoem word. Tydens die verwerkingsproses word nuwe betekenis in die produk ingeskryf, of ‘geënkodeer’. Die leser of gehoorlid moet weer op hul beurt die nuwe produk dekodeer. Hierdie dekodering en enkodering word in videoredigering (‘n aspek van my huidige beroep) ‘n ‘codec’ genoem. In videoredigering is ‘n ‘codec’ verantwoordelik vir die dekodering vanaf ‘n rekenaarlêer na ‘n videoprogram wat deur iemand gekyk kan word, sowel as die enkodering vanaf ‘n videoprogram na ‘n leêr. Aangesien ek tydens die verwerkingsproses as die ‘codec’ funksioneer, het ek dit goed gedink om met die term die ‘Conradie codec’ vorendag te kom. Die doel van hierdie refleksiewe studie was om my vier verwerkings, die prosesse sowel as die produkte, te analiseer en sodoende te bepaal of so ‘n ‘codec’ wel bestaan. Navorsing op die gebied van verwerkings was voorgelê in ‘n poging om die konsep van verwerking as beide proses en produk te definieer – Linda Hutcheon se A Theory of Adaptation was ‘n nuttige bron gewees. Dit het gehelp om ‘n raamwerk vir die bestudering van elk van die vier verwerkings te skep – wat dan uitgevoer was in chronologiese volgorde. Die studie maak ook gebruik van die beginsels van semiotiek, in ‘n baie algemene wyse, veral ten opsigte van die begrip van kodering. Eerstens was die 2004 verwerking van Luigi Pirandello se Six Characters in search of an Author na Twintig akteurs op soek na ‘n [beter] Regisseur ontleed. Dit was gevolg deur onsindroom, ‘n verwerking van A Dream Play deur August Strindberg. iForest wat in 2007 geskep is, was ‘n verwerking van (hoofsaaklik) The Killer deur Eugene Ionesco. Laastens was die verwerking van Shakespeare se Troilus and Cressida na When in love… bestudeer. Die gevolgtrekking was dat daar iets soos die ‘Conradie codec’ bestaan en dat dit wel toegepas was in die skepping van die vier verwerkings. Die effektiwiteit daarvan was wel beperk – hoofsaaklik as gevolg van tydsbeperkings. In al vier die gevalle het die repetisieproses reeds begin voordat ‘n volledige weergawe van die teks voltooi was, wat enorme druk op die repetisieproses geplaas het. Terwyl dit aanvaarbaar is in die konteks van ‘n werkswinkelproduksie word meer tyd benodig vir die verwerking van ‘n teks om samehangend te wees. Deur die vier verwerkings te bestudeer, was die Conradie ‘codec’ self in die proses verwerk (of bygewerk) tot weergawe 2.0.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96882
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