Inside the Circle
What’s it like to be inside the circle? Magic. As a director with young, inexperienced actors, I was faced with stealing their attention from the general chaos of the outside world and bringing them to a place where we could focus on acting exercises and rehearsals. Nothing worked well until I let them alone during a break and drew a three-foot circle with chalk on the floor of the rehearsal space. Having their attention, I invited them, one-by-one, to step into the circle and become an animal, silently. We would guess which animal they were and then they would leave. We repeated the exercise many times, creating emotions and even colors. The rule was that when they were in the circle they had to “stay in character” all the time. The rule for the audience was that if someone was in the circle, everyone had to be silent and give full attention to the actor.
It was from this exercise, repeated in different forms over weeks, that the young people learned inside the circle is a unique, sacred place – soon to be fully-known only to them. Anything could be created in that space and when it was being created, honor should be given to the creators. The circle became larger, actors created in groups and, eventually, the circle became the stage, a play was created and only then did they fully understand the magic of stepping inside the circle.
In this space, I hope to share thoughts of what it has been like – and still is – for me, being inside the circle. My visions, memories and opinions will be honest and useful to some, useless to others. I’ll only write what I believe I have the right to write and, hopefully, some of it will inspire, educate and entertain.
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Actors & Directors
Articles discussing the craft of acting and directing
Or “How To Avoid Audition Suicide” You will find the Mother of All Fatal Audition Mistakes below. In later entries, I’ll introduce you to her Ten Children (all named “Never”) and a few of their Many Cousins. If you play with this family of missteps, one of them will...read more
Articles about my process as a playwright along with thoughts by and about other playwrights.
“To be sure, nudity can be justified artistically, but that fact doesn’t much impress me.” - Ed Hooks. A few years ago, I saw a play in which the playwright employed nudity. It was set in a location where nudity would be expected and (intellectually) was central to...read more
Articles about books, dramaturgy, opinions and the state of today’s theatre world.
“Artistic director caught in storm over nude scene at Boston Children’s Theatre” – Boston Globe It was just a few days after I finished a respectable first draft of BARE STAGE that the Boston Children’s Theatre controversy was brought to my attention. This very public...read more
What’s new with plays and theatre companies as well as me and other theatre artists.
SEACOAST REPERTORY THEATRE (http://www.seacoastrep.org/) Artistic Director, Miles Burns, announced Sunday that my murder mystery, ABSOLUTELY DEAD, will join the bill for the 2018 season as part of the company’s Homegrown Series, which features works by regional...read more
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