Friday, March 15, 2013

A Fly On The Wall, March 15, 2013

When Men were Women
by Jim Murchison 

The time for me to take this soapbox that has been given me and shamelessly self promote has come. I will be taking time over the next few weeks to delve into the process of playing in Taming of the Shrew. When I first met the other actors in November it was to basically workshop the play and find out who we were as a company. 

We didn't know who we were playing, merely that we were in it. Our director, Eleanor Crowder wanted us to take time to explore our theatrical vocabulary so that we could know points  of common understanding in movement, voice, musical, classical and commedia understanding. This group of seven men also had to find out who we were as men within the company and who we might be as women within the play if called upon to play women. After we finished the workshop and sorted all that out Eleanor sent us the final casting and added an eighth man who I just met recently.

I really like the dynamic that this adds to the production.

Our musical director, Rachel Eugster has given us a whole lot to work on as well. We have learned songs like I Am a Lusty Lively Lad and Broomes for Old Shoes and we’ve played around with whatever musical instruments we have. We also get added input from our stage manager Anna Lewis. 

You may have noticed that the entire production team is made up of women. I really like the dynamic that this adds to the production. In addition to the characters we play (I play four), we also have identities as a company of roving minstrels for the play within the play.

I have a lot to think about and play with over the next few weeks and each day I feel a little bit bolder and a little bit more like I’m back where I should be. Hopefully, this won’t be the last play I ever perform, but I don’t take things for granted like I did when I was younger. I feel the opportunity to play is such a privilege and it is such a delight to do something that you love to do. 

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