Tuesday, April 5, 2011

CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION blog 1: Rusty Ferracane (Schultz)

"Embrace the silence." "Resist the urge to pick up the pace." "The minute you feel yourself acting...stop!" These are not the words you expect to hear from your director, but that is exactly what we were told our first week in rehearsal. Annie Baker's "Circle Mirror Transformation" is written in a naturalistic manner that shows characters using everyday speech and affectations. In order to be true to the script, we have to be able to bring these characters to life in a genuine way. It sounds easy, but it's proven to be a bit complicated. Our first two rehearsals were spent doing detailed table work, analyzing every detail of our dialogue to the point where we were counting out how long each pause is (and there are LOTS of them!). Then our director, Paul Barnes had us put every scene up on its feet without telling us any blocking. This really helped us move around organically as though we were the characters experiencing this acting class for the first time. Of course it's still "theatre" so the challenge will be to create a theatrical piece that is interesting enough to hold an audience's attention, yet make it seem like their watching or even intruding on a very real interaction. Believe it or not, when we do it right, it's magical! We were rehearsing one scene the other day between two of the characters and it was so real, so intimate, and each awkward pause and painful silence was so honest and touching that I started feeling uncomfortable just watching them, as if I shouldn't be eavesdropping on them. I'm really eager to see how the audience will react to this "play of pause". As Annie Baker has said, many people are not comfortable with silence. I have a feeling though that audiences will be touched by the simplistic power of the play. So embrace your silence and come see us "not act" in "Circle Mirror Transformation"!

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