Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Perspicacious Playwright Proves Propitious to Process

August 15, 2012

By Nathan Norcross
Playhouse Directing Intern 

The past week was mostly spent making a first pass at the play to get it up on its feet in the rehearsal space. Check out an in-depth article I wrote for the Playhouse e-newsletter that covers those explorations in more detail here. 

Playwright Chad Beguelin was away for this first pass, so we were all eager to share the work with him yesterday. He is quite pleased with the direction Mark and the cast are headed, though Mark pressed him for any lingering thoughts or insights about the first act. When Mark shared a couple of Chad’s notes with the cast today, it was clear how fortunate we are to have him as an active part of this process. 

One of Chad’s strengths as a playwright is his ability to write engaging dialogue that leaves helpful hints to the actors about the dramatic actions bubbling beneath the surface without spelling their inner motivations out as dialogue. Not only is this more true to life—how often does one straight out say exactly what they’re thinking, feeling, or wanting—but it is also reveals Beguelin’s strong command of dramatic writing. 

Furthermore, Beguelin understands the actors’ process of objectives and tactics: what an actor wants in a scene and how s/he actively goes about pursuing it (e.g. to plead, to chastise, to woo, etc). Not only does this comprehension strengthen the writing, but it affords him the ability to give clear, useful suggestions; notes that aren’t just about how he’d like a certain line to sound, but what’s fueling the character to say the line in the first place. 

We look forward to sharing the second act with him tomorrow…

Clockwise: Chad Beguelin (Playwright), Kate Nowlin ("Donna"), Mark Lamos (Director),
Paul Anthony Stewart ("Ted"), Bobby Steggert ("Kevin"), Alexis Molnar ("Lottie")  
Photo by Kat Gloor

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