3/12/2008

Acting in a Professional Production

Posted by ruthie

Tomorrow is the first day of my class: Acting in a Professional Production. This is the class for which I auditioned. Here is the description of the class, taken from the Theatre Lab Website:

Arthur Miller Series: Prepare, rehearse, and perform in a series of staged readings at Theater J--one of DC's most respected theatres. Issues explored in the class include the expectations involved in professional work, how to find it, how to make strong choices "on the fly," and what can be learned from the pros. Each reading will be directed by a professional director and will feature a well-known Washington actor in addition to a core company of students playing substantial roles. The series of four readings, which will coincide with Theater J's production of Arthur Miller's The Price, will explore both popular and little-known Miller works, including The Crucible, Playing for Time, and The Creation of the World.

The shows that we will be performing are Arthur Miller's:

    • After the Fall
    • The Crucible
    • The Creation of the World
    • Playing for Time
Tomorrow's rehearsal is for After the Fall. This is the one production that I am not performing in. Disappointing, but I will give a description anyway (taken from Wikipedia):

The plot takes place inside the mind of Quentin, a New York Jewish intellectual who decides to reexamine his life in order to determine if he should marry his most recent love, Holga.

The play is often criticised for being too similar to Miller's actual life because Maggie's suicide is very similar to the suicide of Miller's once wife, Marilyn Monroe. In fact the feelings of the protagonist, Quentin, are often believed to be Miller's own reflection about his failed marriage. Although this work remains very unpopular to critics, it is reveared in academic arena as a deep and intellectual play, albeit difficult to follow since it does not follow the conventional sequence of events found in typical works.

The play remains one of Miller's less popular works, often attributed in part to the non-linear, often surreal nature of the plot and setting, as well as the spartan, unconventional backdrop. Indeed, all but the final seconds of the play take place in the protagonist's brain, which is reflected by a set consisting of a single chair before a concentration camp guard tower, which is itself surrounded by a giant, winding ramp made up of crevices, pits, and abutments. The plot unfolds over a period of time, due to the non-linear nature of the story; characters and occurrences appear as the protagonist remembers them, and, reflecting the nature of the mind, they often disappear and their stories remain unresolved until later in the play, when they spontaneously reappear again.

I am not going to lie, I wish I had bigger roles in the productions. However, it is still a HUGE blessing to be part of this project. I will be working with some very talented people, people who are experienced and established in this business. I know I will learn a lot. It is really exciting and I will tell you all about it after 10pm tomorrow (that is when the class ends, not necessarily when I will write the post... :O] ).

Until next time friends.

Oh and 17 days until my audition for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.