Friday, October 15

Enemies: Wrapped Up

So, last night was the final night of this year's Enemies. What did you miss, if you weren't there?

-what I am sure is the Segway's first appearance in any theatrical production on PEI. I would even guess the first time a Segway has appeared in a theatrical production in the Maritimes. (I am more than ready to be corrected on this)

-at least three too many jokes/references to the penis and/or testicles.

-me, chewing pubic hair.

-a discussion as to the meaning of the word 'reap'.

-a detailed instructional on how a man might possibly be born with a gun in his hand.

-the introduction of the Benny Hill Show theme song to a whole new generation of Islanders.

-mis-firing pistols

-a real-live alien on stage (okay, an actor pretending to be a real-live alien).

-more drool than was necessary.

I found directing this year's episodes to be a very Jekyll-Hyde experience. On the one hand, you want to make sure the actors know what they were supposed to do when they were on stage. We had plot points we need to reach in any scene, and it's rather vital to the outcome of each episode that those points are actually achieved. Yet, on the other hand, you also want to keep the improvisational intent of the series. It's improv that drives the excitement and entertainment of the shows, and if the actors have too much familiarity with what happens in each scene, then it becomes much harder to maintain that improvisational aspect.

I think, in hindsight, I guided the rehearsals with the intent that the improvisational qualities remained in the forefront, and focused much less (than last year, for instance) on hammering home the various plot points. In so doing, I probably didn't afford the actors as much comfort and familiarity with the scenes as they probably wanted. Sometimes, for all of us acting in the show, this resulted in us looking a little lost at times on stage. However, it also created many hilarious moments of improv that simply wouldn't have happened had we known the plot backwards and forewards.

No comments: