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Exploring Vulnerability On Stage

This workshop gave each of us an amazing opportunity to become a little more aware of the social face (or “mask”) that each of us have unconsciously chosen to present to the outside world. Bogdan Tabacaru, an experienced and talented director, used Sanford Meisner’s teaching on text and improvised scenes to help each of us begin to set aside our mask just a little bit so that we could authentically step into the shoes of vulnerable characters on stage. Each of us left the workshop with a sense of having gained a bit of insight into living more truthfully in our real lives.

David Lindsay-Abaire, Rabbit Hole

This extraordinarily well written play involving family members dealing with deep loss in their individual ways – and in ways that we all can recognize in ourselves and in our own families. The play was adapted to make a successful movie starring Nicole Kidman in 2010.

Podcast with Jai Mallett

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In this podcast we chated with Jai Mallet, one of the founding members of Wake Up Theater and who provided the inspiration to bring Nobel Prize winning Harold Pinter’s play The Dumb Waiter to the stage.

Christopher Durang, “Beyond Therapy”

When we read “Beyond Therapy” in our March play reading meeting, the emotional power of black comedy became very real for all of us. The exaggeration of rather serious issues and the crazy responses of the characters, we all found ourselves laughing constantly at their words and behavior. What was especially fun was to experience how each of us got more and more into our characters as we read the play together – even to the point of laughing, crying, yelling and other physical clues in response to our emotional involvement in the moment.

The Dumb Waiter

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This is one of Pinter’s earliest plays (1958). Even then, Pinter was an expert at mixing the realistic with the absurd, the personal with the political. When the play opens, two men, Ben and Gus, are waiting in a windowless basement room. They are awaiting instructions for their next assignment. While they wait, their conversation is riddled with conflict and miscommunication. Differences between the two men’s attitudes emerge, yet questions remain. Pinter said of his dramas, “between my lack of biographical data about (the characters) and the ambiguity of what they say lies a territory which is not only worthy of exploration but which it is compulsory to explore.”

Acting is Us – E-motion: Energy In Motion

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Held February 10, 2024
Led by Carolyn Morrow
In this workshop we tuned into and activated the vivid life, potential depth and expressivity of our emotions.
Click on Carolyn’s picture to read more.

Where Actor Meets Director

Where does the actor meet the director in the process of creating a memorable dramatic performance? How do I, as an actor, blend my preparation and emotional passion for my character with the the vision of the director so that we can truly be partners in this creative endeavor? This recent, memorable workshop on exploring the expressivity of our emotions and bringing that to the stage offered some inspiring insights.

What Is Love?

We all say “I love you” from time to time – to our spouses, our special friends, our children and our pets. But what does that mean? Ted, facing the imminent death of his long-term partner, seeks an answer in this fictional story.

Emotions: My Connection To Stage And Life

Learning to become a more authentic actor requires opening up more fully to the full range of my emotional being. It’s perhaps safer when playing a character on the stage, but it’s still not easy. The reward is that I am at the same time learning to connect more fully with everyone around me in my real life. I’ll never be finished with this exploration as long as I’m alive, but it is an extraordinary and exciting journey for sure.

Pinter and Protest

Harold Pinter was considered to be one of the most influential of modern British dramatists with a career spanning more than 50 years as a playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. He wrote plays that emphasized that unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. Coming to understand what this means for me personally has been a long journey.

The Joy of Discovery

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The news seems particularly depressing these days. Have we lost touch with with our capacity to joyfully experience the miracles of our daily life? Here are three short stories where unexpected joy was discovered.

Remembering Chaim Topol

It was with great sadness that I read of the death of the Israeli actor Chaim Topol a few weeks ago. Topol’s performance as the the impoverished milk farmer Tevye in more than 3,500 stage performances as well as the movie Fiddler on the Roof made him virtually synonymous with the role. The movie confronted me with many questions and issues that I had not thought about before and has had a profound impact on my life.