Monday, October 21, 2013

The Question... Alison Smyth on Evil Dead: The Musical

Madcapping It
One moment without focus could lead to serious injury.
by Estelle Rosen

Alison Smyth's performance as “Francine Valli and others” in Jersey Boys (Toronto/Dancap) won her the 2010 Best Featured Female Award for Toronto.  Selected theatre credits include: “Shelley/Tracy Understudy” in Hairspray! (Toronto/Mirvish); “Diana” in Anne Of Green  Gables – The Musical (Charlottetown Festival); “Yves” in Head À Tete (Magnus Theatre).  Ms Smyth also made an appearance in the Hairspray film (New Line Cinema) as an “Auditionee”. An emerging theatre director, Ms Smyth has directed successful productions of “Anne Of Green  Gables – The Musical” (Toronto) and Aladdin (London, ONT).

CHARPO: Does reprising a role five years later bring with it things learned from the earlier experience and as an emerging director, is it tempting to visualize directing this piece?

SMYTH: Yes! Reprising a role five years later brings with it many things learned from the previous experience - mainly: revisiting/rediscovering acting choices and faster/easier memorization of lines and blocking.

Cheryl is one of the most intense and challenging roles I've done thus far in my career.  Already having a solid character base gives me the opportunity to focus on the many new elements of this 2013 production.

New fight sequences, choreography, sets and props require constant awareness.  In any production, an actor should be fully invested, whether speaking or not, but Evil Dead - The Musical is an extraordinarily risky show at every turn. 

Not only paying attention to my own surroundings, physical movements, and props - I have to be aware of every other actor’s motions and props.  One moment without focus could lead to serious injury.

In 2008, I struggled vocally, not because of the songs, but because of the demon voice.  This time around I know how and where to place my voice so I can do the show eight times a week and always give the same performance with my vocal instrument.

As an emerging stage director, my main temptation is wanting to assist our director, Christopher Bond.  It is difficult for me to hold my tongue when watching someone in the wrong blocking or needing help with character choices.  I have to remind myself that my position here is as an actor, not as the director.  As for my own visualization . . . I really enjoy what Christopher Bond has set for this production and have never truly had my own thoughts on how I would direct it.  If I am approached to direct this piece someday in the future, then I will focus and discover what my blocking might be.

Thank you for probing my mind.  And I hope you enjoy our production!

Evil Dead: The Musical runs from October 24-December 22

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. Please read our guidelines for posting comments.