Tuesday, August 01, 1995

Selections from ACT One, Scene 1

A selection of stories and articles that appeared in the first issue of ACT One, published in August of 1995.

This is a selection of stories and articles that appeared in the first issue of ACT One, published in August of 1995.

In this Issue
Re:ACTion - The Editor’s Column- Overture and Places Please -  Valerie Moore
Recollections of an Antiquated Thespian- Raymond Moore
ACT Off - Offstage Counts - Lines NOT heard… - Rob Thomson
The Foreigner- David Sherren
Our Stories

Re:ACTion - Overture and Places Please
 
Welcome to our first, and much sweated over newsletter. If I were being paid by the hour to produce this, I could retire after the first issue. However, I am regarding this job as a learning process (believe me, it is!), and am trying to keep a sense of humour about it.

If you would like to contribute to further editions of ACT ONE, please pass your contributions on to me. We’re looking for anything to do with the world of entertainment, articles that are amusing and / or informative. Critiques of theatre, film etc, plays etc.- the editor


Recollections of an Antiquated Thespian

 

I am a thespian. Not everyone would make such an admission readily, but in these modern times of gender neutrality, it is OK to come out of the closet and admit one’s theatrical proclivities. Indeed, I have been a thespian for nearly as long as I can remember.

 

My first experience, a thespian awakening, so to speak, occurred when I was a mere stripling. At elementary school, I was cast in the role of Prince Charming (ha! ha!) in that annual school play. All kinds of scarlet and hold paper was pinned on various parts of my anatomy for what laughably passed as a costume. This was topped with an outrageous paper crown. The really awful part was that I had to kiss the lovely Princess Esmerelda in the final climatic scene.

 

Naturally, being ten-years-olds, there was no rehearsal for this event and it had to be done in the full passion of the context of the drama. I remember the awful suspense, the hesitation, the silence and then… I did it. The audience applauded. I have never known whether it was the emotional intensity of the play or the admiration of my amourous technique that caused the response. However, from that moment I became a committed thespian. - Raymond Moore

 

 

ACT Off - Offstage Counts

Lines NOT heard during the recently produced Our Town…

There was no mood - it had all the atmosphere of a dictionary!

Dumb: a turn-of-the-century milkman wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that.

It wasn’t my fault. Nobody told me we were starting at seven.

Where was the CBC?

I was stranded in a pool of shadow - talk about performing in blackface!

Call me Everyman: for weeks I had no idea about what my character was supposed to be.

The pace was jerkier than a weathervane in a summer storm. We stuttered.

Who’d imagine that blouse would show puke-puce in that light?

No way - your group’s not booked onto this stage till tomorrow night.

A picture in the paper and some ticket give-aways might have caught some attention.

Train whistle, chicken-cluckings, school-bell: you couldn’t hear any of it. We looked so silly.

Nobody got the step-ladder? So do I just stand on tippy-toe?!

Moonlit sentimentality? Ha! It looked more like High Noon.

Holes in the seat of his pants? Underwear would have helped.

But I thought you were gonna handle the tickets.

Among the theatre-going public we got as much profile as Mt Brookvale.

Why Not? at least five good reasons:

Stage Manager - Wallena Higgins

Lights / Tech - Garnie Gallant

Costumier - Karyn MacPhee

Publicist - Doug Gallant

Director - David Sherren

 

Lines that might be heard** at a future production of ACT

Great shadow effects, Ben

It clicked perfectly, Leah. It was all there when we needed it.

That’s neat, Allie! I didn’t see it with that slant before.

Nice coverage in the Buzz Good, now wait till you see the posters!

That’s lucky: a cummerbund that fits even my middle!

** Why? at least five good reasons:

Wallena

Garnett

Karyn

Doug

David

- Rob Thomson

The Foreigner

 

I first became aware of the comic genius of Larry Shue while watching a performance of his farce, The Nerd in May 1987. Faced with an overwhelming choice of shows to go to while visiting New York that month, I had selected the Nerd, because fellow Canadian and proud Newfoundlander, Robert Joy, was featured. Even though Robert stole the show as the ex-Vietnam war vet / guest from Hell, the Nerd gave each actor a chance to shine in some truly hilarious moments. 

 

I left the theatre that evening determined to find out more about The Nerd’s author, Larry Shue. I discovered that, besides being the playwright of The Foreigner and The Nerd, Shue was an accomplished actor, creating roles in works by Amblin Gray, Andrew Johns, David Mamet and himself. As a NY actor, Shue was seen in One Life to Live, in the title role of The Foreigner and as the Rev Mr Crispardle in the Public Theatre’s musical production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Unfortunately, Larry Shue died in a plane accident in 1985. At the time, he was working on a screenplay of The Foreigner. 

 

The Foreigner was first staged at Milwaukee Rep in 1983, went on to a record-breaking run of 700 performances at New York’s Astor Place Theatre, and is currently considered to be one of America’s most popular plays. It tells the story of Charlie Baker, a disconsolate British proof-reader who has discovered that his wife has been unfaithful to him - 23 times. Although his wife is on her deathbed, Charlie travels with his friend ‘Froggie’ LeSueur to a remote lodge in Georgia to forget his troubles. Because Charlie is too depressed to talk to anybody, LeSueur tells the owner of the lodge that Charlie is a ‘foreigner’ who doesn’t speak a word of English. Since no one thinks that Charlie can understand them, the various residents of the lodge feel as if they can say just about anything they want around and to him - and they do. the ACT production of The Foreigner will feature seven actors, each of whom will have ample opportunity to have some fun. Alas, everyone will be required to do an accent. 

 

The next playreading will be devoted to a reading of The Foreigner. the intention is that ACT members become familiar with the play at this time, in order to better prepare for the forthcoming auditions. If you feel comfortable with any of the needed accents, please feel free to do them. But remember, the reading is not the place for your audition; I don’t expect it, and it will be more stressful for you if you feel it necessary to perform during what is supposed to be a fun experience. 

 

Auditions will take place August 28 with rehearsals starting in early September. Performances will take place Oct 19 - 22 at the Carrefour Theatre.

 

ACT members not performing on-stage are especially needed and encouraged to help with other aspects of the production. Please contact David Sherren or Gerry Gray if you feel you can contribute in any way.  - David Sherren

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