Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Actor Prepares – Commedia!

In keeping with this summer’s themes of abandonment and unfulfilled obligations I’m now pleased to invite you to the original monodrama entitled Commedia, opening this Thursday at the Ennotville Library, and running until August 8th.

After the few people who had committed to this project decided to drop out I was faced with a conundrum – how could I produce a show without any actors? More importantly, how could I maintain what little momentum that I had going this season in Ennotville, and stave off a financial disaster that would almost certainly force the company into insolvency?

Well I did what I often do whenever I’m faced with a seemingly impossible situation – I went for a long, long walk.

When I see the open road roll out before me like a an empty draughtsman’s table I begin to see the totality of whatever it is I’m dealing with. Away from the phone, the e-mails, and the resources on my hard drive I begin to see the problem as it exists in my mind, as opposed to anyone else’s. The opinions and advice of others, though almost always well-intentioned, often takes on undo importance unless I can see how each and every bit of minutiae that forms my problem relates to every other.

My walk to solve this problem took a few hours – I was even beginning to wonder if it was going to take a few walks – but finally I found the answer: the monodrama.

For this production, I will be playing all the parts myself, telling the story using ten different characters, instantly switching between them (and perhaps one, neutral narrator-figure). For any of you who may be familiar with Dan Needles Wingfield plays, this is a similar format (though I don’t dare claim to be the next Rod Beattie).

The format itself isn’t new at all, in fact. Mediaeval bards were constantly adding characterization to their stories, so perhaps I’m more of a storyteller than I am an actor, in the end.

What I’m asking of you is simple – come and see the play.

But more than even your presence, what I’m really interested in are your thoughts. If you can’t come, leave me a comment, or drop me a line sometime. What motivates you to come to a show? What motivates you to be in a show?

I’m on a journey this summer – that much is for sure. Things are changing quickly, and it’s in this time of economic uncertainty that the new Grinder is being formed. I guess what I’m really asking you is this – what’s it going to take for you to be a part of it?

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