Monday, April 01, 2013

A to Z Challenge - A is for Act One

Before I share my word for today, I want to give a shout out to Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out   From what I understand, it was Arlee's bright idea to start the challenge a few years ago. This is my second time to participate, and I must admit it is a challenge, but it is also fun.


I toyed with a number of possible themes for my posts this month and nothing really energized me, until I thought of trying to find words that are associated with live theatre, acting, and plays. That seemed a natural since I have been in rehearsal for seven weeks for a production of "Our Town" at our local community theatre. I am directing and playing a role, which is especially challenging, and I may never do that again.

"Our Town" is a classic three- act play written by Thornton Wilder in 1938, and theatres across the country are celebrating the 75th anniversary with productions. Set in the fictional American small town of Grover's Corners, it could be the story of any typical small town's citizens in the early twentieth century as depicted through their everyday lives. The story is set between the years of 1901 and 1913 and convey the ordinariness of love, marriage, and death. 

Act One of "Our Town" begins with a monologue by the character of the stage manager, whose role is like that of the chorus in some of Shakespeare's  plays. The stage manager talks directly to the audience, introducing the town, the characters, and the themes of each act.

The play is performed with a minimal set, which suits our small performance space nicely, and the actors do not use props. Instead, they mime their actions, and that adds an extra layer of challenge to any performer. The character of the stage manager acts like the chorus in some of Shakespeare's  plays, talking directly to the audience with narration that moves the story along.

For those of us who like to "play" on stage, mounting a production like this is quite a thrill.

Do you enjoy live theatre? Have you ever had the urge to be on stage?

9 comments:

VikLit said...

I love the theatre.It was interesting reading about Our Town, which I don't know very well (it's not so well known here in UK I don't think). I am near you on the list, was interesting to read your post!

Jeremy [Retro-Z] said...

i have heard of it, never seen it... great start. i am a fan of plays, don't tell anyone.

Jeremy [Retro]
AtoZ Challenge Co-Host
Oh No, Let's Go... Crazy

Maryann Miller said...

Glad you learned something by visiting, VikLit. Nice to meet you. (smile)

Jeremy, is there something wrong with being a fan of plays? I certainly hope not, or I am in deep doo-doo. LOL

Grover said...

I've never had the urge to be on stage myself, but I like to go to the theatre. I live near the Swan Theatre in Stratford (the Shakespearey one, not the Londony one) so there's always something on. I don't take advantage of it enough though.

Looking forward to visiting throughout the rest of the challenge!

(Grover at Inane Ramblings)

The Desert Rocks said...

I used to be in community theater but now I'm in the A to Z challenge and I don't have any time for acting. LOL

LD Masterson said...

I've never performed but I love to attend...professional, community, even the local school productions. In fact, we're doing a long weekend in NY later this month just to catch a couple shows.

Laura Eno said...

I used to perform as a kid in ballet theater productions and that was fine, but I could NEVER perform in a stage production where I had to act or speak! Eeek!

Laura Eno – A Shift in Dimensions

Maryann Miller said...

Grover, so nice to see you again. I always enjoyed our Shakespeare in the Park productions in Nebraska. I was never in them, but enjoyed the outdoor staging and the performances.

LD, I'm so jealous that you are going to New York. My interest in live theatre started when my kids were involved in high school theatre. Then I spent a number of years helping a friend who was a theatre and film teacher. We worked together on screenplays and even tried to produce a film.

Laura, I never thought I could be on stage, either, but it is not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. The secret is becoming someone else, the character you are playing. Laura Eno might be terrified of saying lines, but the character wants to say her lines. LOL

Maryann Miller said...

Dessert Rocks, I started the play long before the Challenge began. LOL