Friday, November 11, 2011

NEXT FALL blog 7: David Dickinson (Brandon)

As an actor, you always put your heart into creating a performance, but rarely do you get the satisfaction of knowing how an audience perceived the show other than applause and laughter at the appropriate, you hope, moments. You hope no one walks out, but that is feedback too!

After two weeks of performing NEXT FALL, I have received a lot of feedback about the show from our audiences..

NEXT FALL makes no effort to preach or espouse a single viewpoint, but it is rather a social laboratory. The play places people with various viewpoints in real life situations and allows us to listen to the outcome. No one is completely right, but no one is dismissed (at least in the end). As with most plays audience members will identify with the character that expresses the viewpoint with which they are the most comfortable. But because the play is so neutral and non-judgmental, audience members find themselves open to the discussion on stage which takes all of us on a much deeper journey.

What drove this home to me came in an e-mail from someone who connected strongly with the voice of my character Brandon because of his Christian views especially on homosexuality. This is a testament to the play: Brandon's discomfort with homosexuality is a real discomfort shared by some in our community. I'm excited these friends are coming to the theatre. I'm thrilled they are joining the discussion and enjoying the journey as much anyone else.

NEXT FALL makes a case that all of the differences that separate us, our opinions, our religions, our beliefs, our prejudices are all "dinky" when you face the reality that we are only here on Earth for a very short time. It focuses all of us on what is important in life: not winning, not being "right", but loving, respecting and appreciating. Everyone responds to this.

I didn't expect this. While I was personally moved by the play when I first read it, I didn't see its universality. Every time I work at Actors Theatre, it takes me on a ride I'm glad I didn't miss. NEXT FALL is no exception. Thanks to all of you who have shared your thoughts and feelings about the play with me. It makes doing the show that much more joyful.

photo: John Groseclose; (l to r) David Dickinson as Brandon and Andi Watson as Holly


Actors Theatre said...

So glad you enjoyed it.

The title literally comes from an exchange that happens in Act 2 when Luke's dad shows up unannounced and Luke, in a panic, tried to "de-gay" the aprtment:

Adam: ...Just tell him, already.

Luke: I will. I promise. Next fall. When Ben's in college. I figure by then he'll be old enough to decide for himself.

Of course, in the second to last scene, Luke still hasn't told his parents.

Adam: The NYU kids are back...from summer.

Luke: Yeah.

Adam: How long's your brother been at Georgia Tech? He's a sophomore now, right?

Luke: Uh-huh.

Adam: It's never gonna change, is it?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response!

Best wishes in your future roles.