A Full And Proper Kit —
We have finally rounded out our company. A group of non equity acting students, and graduates have arrived to do the important work of peopling the stage. In Shakespeare this is crucial work because every story has kings and queens who must be bowed to, wars to be fought, feasts to be danced at, street fights to be fought, shouted about, and put down and, of course murders to be done.
My old acting teacher, Philip Meister, used to tell us that the success of any production of Julius Caesar depends on the host of players who listen to and react to Mark Antony’s oration. You can have the best actor in the world speaking that speech, but if the “rabble” is not on the ball, the speech will fail and take the rest of the play with it.
Another thing about the profession of acting is that the most important lessons are taught via mentorship, example and on-the-job training. These days we all go to acting school, but the real “schooling” happens when you get your first assignments and you get to watch the more experienced players ply their craft. For me it was players like Margaret Whitton, Kevin Kline, Jean Stapleton, Peter Riegert, Richard Riehle, Ruth Maleczech and Brian Murray who I sat and watched rehearse while I waited to carry my torch onto and off of the stage. It was a wonderful education.
Now it’s up to the veterans to set the example and pass on the knowledge that the youngsters need in order to have long and fruitful careers of their own
We’re all together now and the stage pictures are starting to come into focus. Henceforth every minute of rehearsal will be a priceless jewel to be jealously guarded.
More to come.