May 14th, 2004

Credo and other plays

I saw some live theater tonight, 4 very short contemporary plays performed by a trio of high school students. Admission was zero dollars. The acting was excellent.

My favorite playlet was "The Role of Della" by John Wooten. It's a comedic piece about an audition from hell, where an actress is put through the wringer. And there's a surprise or two.

But that piece was short on character. A piece that was long on character and relationship was "Bedtime" by Mary Gallagher, about two sisters and the talk they have when one of them can't fall asleep at night.

My daughter had read this piece, and had found it totally boring on the page, because it was just people talking. But good actors bring a sense of purpose to a scene, even a "too-talky" scene, and give it a sense of energy and drama.

I complimented one of the actresses on her performance. I told her she looked relaxed on stage. Energetic, present-in-the-role, but relaxed.

She said she actually felt nervous.

I told her that was good. You're supposed to feel nervous on stage. As the acting cliche goes, if you're about to go on stage, and you don't feel nervous, then it's time to GET nervous.

The other 2 plays were "Workout", by Wendy Wasserstein, an amusing monologue by a woman who "has it all" as she leads a aerobics class, and "Credo," by Craig Lucas, a sad but inspirational monologue about a woman whose dog has just died.

Rhyme of the day:

The audition from hell
was swell.