Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lynda Radley: The Communal Act of Sharing

The Company, staging Dorm with Lynda (right)
Lynda Radley, playwright of Futureproof, a play about what intrigues people to watch fantastic “transformation stories” and what the life of those being transformed is really like. Furutreproof was a definite favorite of our Contemporary Scottish Theatre class, which was read and studied the play.

Lynda’s philosophy was that the best way to work with something is on its feet; and that we did. In our short amount of time, Pepperdine Scotland’s actors and designers came together to work on various scenes not only from Futureproof, but also from her as-yet-unproduced play, Dorm, as well as The Art of Swimming, and I’ve Got Girl. Whirling from one extract to the next, we were all able to explore and work with space and what that means to our characters and to our audiences. Each piece so was different from the next, that as actors and designers it kept us on our toes for transforming one piece to the next. Lynda has a beautiful and diverse writing style that I really enjoyed working with and opened my eyes to different styles of writing beyond basic dialogue, including use of stage directions and contrasting monologues.

Tasia and Karolina take on the roles of Lillie and Millie
Futureproof has characters from a traveling freak show, all with various physical abnormalities from conjoined twins, an extra-large man, and a woman with no arms and a beard. We worked with Lynda on what embodying that physical trait means to our character and how we approach it. Being conjoined by neck ties and one pair of pants to Karolina (even just for an hour) was a difficulty in itself! Dorm explores shared sleeping spaces of strangers, like an airport lobby, a sleeper train, or a hotel. In a short amount of time we took on the challenge of creating these different spaces all within the same room and flowing from one scene to the next while taking the audience on a journey through the rooms. Working with and creating these different spaces changed how I work as an actor and made me realize the importance of your surroundings.

Lynda talked about plays being “the communal act of sharing something” and that is definitely what we got to do in this master class.

Hakuna Matata,

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