Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Other Side of the Curtain...

I mentioned last week that I had some other theatre projects lined up. I also promised to fill everyone in on it. That is the purpose of this post.

Every summer, The Old Opera House, where I do most of my acting, holds a contest for playwrights. It is called the New Voice Play Festival. Playwrights from all over the country submit their unpublished one-act plays. The top finishers receive a small cash prize. They also receive the honor of having their play performed on the stage of the Opera House.

I have appeared in the festival as an actor for the last two summers. This year, the Opera House was kind enough to offer me a chance to direct one of the winners. I have accepted this offer. This is what I will be working on for about the next 6 weeks or so.

My position is unique. The third place winners of the contest do get presented to an audience. However, those plays are presented in a dramatic reading. For those of you not familiar with this term, the play I am directing will have few props, and very little blocking. This is because the actors will be presenting the piece directly from the script. (Hopefully with podiums or music stands in front of them.)

Directing this sort of presentation has its own unique limitations as well as advantages, as you might imagine. The biggest advantage, however, is that it will allow my actors to delve into the nature of their characters and the script earlier on in the process than might otherwise be possible. I very much look forward to this.

It all begins tomorrow evening. There will be open auditions for the whole festival (5 one act-plays this year). There will be a second night of auditions on Tuesday.

As previously mentioned on this blog, I have directed before. But it has been a few years. I have every confidence in my abilities to do so, however. It is just been so long since I pursued a play from the top of the pyramid.

Of course, as the process goes on, I will be describing my adventures, here on Always Off Book, so that all of you loyal blog readers can be a part of my theatrical dealing in the way in which you are accustomed. Indeed, I will be more specific as to the nature of the one act I am directing in the days to come.

If you happen to be a loyal blog reader that lives in or near Charles Town, West Virginia, stop on by and see us. You may end up in one of the shows. Perhaps mine! (And what greater thrill could there be to a loyal blog reader than to be in a play Ty himself is directing?)

Stay tuned, as usual.


Susan Abraham said...

Hi Ty,
What an exciting and challenging prospect this sounds for you indeed. And you may find as I did, that by recording experiences down, later on, your posts may prove a studied reflection on its own merit of your actor's journey. Odd details may trigger even an obsure memory. But of course, have yourself a great time and here's wishing you every success. cheers

Ty Unglebower said...

Thank you for your sentiments, Susan.