March 21, 2009

Acting Class

I'm currently taking an acting workshop based on the Stanislavsky technique. The class is for 5 hours every Sunday and the teacher is Paula J. Riley. I'm having a lot of fun in the class and I feel like I'm getting back on my feet. We have been learning how to develop characters and break down the beats in scenes. It had been a while since I had taken a class so I was a little bit shaky at first. We have our final performance coming up on April 26th. 

I'm actually in two scenes for the final performance. I'm going to be playing Cleopatra in a famous scene from George Bernard Shaw's "Caesar and Cleopatra" where Caesar meets teenage Cleopatra for the first time out in the desert. When I first read the play, I didn't really know what to make of the character because Shaw's interpretation of Cleopatra is so different from we've read in history books or seen in other films about her. She's so young, naive, and doesn't really understand the great power and sexuality that she possesses. It's been very interesting trying to find that child like quality that she has. 

In my other scene I'm playing Estelle in Jean-Paul Sartre's "No Exit". This play is about three people who are in hell. Each character has awful qualities that they see reflected in the other people and it's pure torture. Each person has done something so awful that it's resulted in the deaths of others. They are trapped in a room together for all eternity and while they could be helpful to one another, they are too far gone in their own egos, insecurities, and hatred to do so.  It's one of the best plays I've ever read and I'm so excited to perform it. 

We begin blocking the scenes tomorrow in class and we are supposed to be as fully memorized as possible. I'm having a hard time because I'm the only person in class that has two full scenes and the dialogue is a bit old fashioned in both scenes. 

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