In The Event of My Death
In The Event of My Death
Songs for a New World
House of Blue Leaves(In rehearsal)
The Wizard of Oz(In rehearsal)
The Servant of Two Masters
Porter/Waiter#2/Opening act featured singer
Acting- Fabio Polanco, Scott Hudson, Ric Godwin, Teresa Durbin-Ames,
Shane O’Neill, Josh Rhett Noble
According to August Wilson in the article The Ground on which I Stand “Theater asserts that all of human life is universal. Love, honor, duty, betrayal belong and pertain to every culture or race. The way they are acted out on the playing field may be different, but betrayal whether you are… all human life is universal, and it is theater that illuminates and confer upon the universal the ability to speak for all men”. (pg. 74)
This is one of many other reasons I am a theater artist. Because with that quote in mind I have freedom of expression to tell other people stories and what it looks, feels, or sounds to be in someone else’s shoes. I really enjoy the ethic of the work, the way it demands my attention to detail of the very thing happening and that I am doing. With all that hard work and focus it is very rewarding because the connection with the cast and later the audience that I make are indescribable to share. Throughout the semester I have been able to grab a few new things from our three readings as to why I want to act. Looking back at Peter Brook’s, The Empty Space he impacted me the most with his idea of ‘Holy Theater’ when he says, “the Holy Theater could be called The Theater of the Invisible – Made – Visible: the notion that the stage is a place where the invisible can appear has a deep hold on our thoughts” (pg.42). This for me confirms that an audience member wants to see something they do not see in their everyday life in a heighten view point. Next, discussed artist was Sue-Ellen Case, Feminism and Theater and I enjoyed her notion of what ‘personal theater’ was and how our dialogue in its self creates a personal feeling (space) for us, how we can create salons (groups of people who share our experiences) and share a story or many stories. For me that what a stage production is a very long salon group meeting telling a story. Lastly, we talked over Augusto Boal Theater of the oppressed, and even though this man covers a lot of topics his most simple thought to me was that of ‘Happiness’ and he says happiness is three things “one that derives from material pleasures, another from glory, and a third from virtue.” (Pg.14) For me this covers all people and because of that to me means that theater can be for everyone, we all have close to us what true happiness is and that is the reason I believe it causes the audience to become more invested. But even with these artists as influences I still find excitement with playwrights such as Caryl Churchill and her play A Number, this play for me was one that really made our culture think about where we are heading and do we really need to strive for perfection, this once again hitting the idea of happiness, maybe? And lastly there is Tony Kushner and his play Angels in America; I really like this one because it brought up the topic of homosexuality, were people got to really hear the stories of these people lives. Which to me relates back to Brooks ‘holy theater’ and being for the people, even though that play could seem targeted towards the gay community it was put on such a big stage (Broadway) that it had the platform for all to see.
In conclusion, the reason for theater and reason I do theater – acting is because my craft allows me freedom to show ‘truth’ in a way that people of all races, ways, culture can understand and relate to and know they are not alone. I want to take a role and create something that will be exciting, deep, reflective, and true to that characters life, this to me is what my theater (acting) will strive to be.
The Art of Choice
The credentials that have prepared me for this project are the classes I have taken thus far at Ashland University. The classes that will help with my process of this project are Building Acting Technique, Voice and Articulation, Scene Study, Acting Theory and Scene Study. In Acting Technique we focused on moment to moment of a chosen monologue. In Voice and Articulation we focused on using our full body to speak using Shakespeare’s sonnets and monologues. In Scene Study we focused on Constantin Stanislavski’s “magic if”, “emotional memory”, and “unbroken line”. Currently I am taking Acting Theory and Scene Study, this class is a continuation of Scene Study looking to combine approaches to scene work with further study in acting theory.
A summary of my senior project is I will like to perform a role preferably in the Fall production but I am also open to the Spring production. The goal/outcome of this will be attainment of clear articulation (being specific) to what I want and what I am doing as an actor on stage. The approach I would like to use for that role will be a small amount of Lee Strasberg emotional response. However, my main focus will be working with Stella Adler’s approach of using the imagination (along with research and script interpretation) and creating given circumstances for that role, that will then allow me to work on the role’s emotional life (urgency) and connecting that with the physical life (action) of that role.
My goals, objective and outcomes that will be addressed by the project are it would give me the opportunity to gain directness in my process as to what works and does not work for me. I will optimistically learn to make artistic choices that specifically can create my role and others in my career. I have confidence in my chosen approach that it will give me the chances to surely find new qualities about myself that I am presently not aware of. Also, finding further confidence in my acting style will allow me to use more “coloring” meaning permitting more interesting and personal depth to my acting choices. How I intend to reach these goals are by reading (researching) more on The Group Theatre and looking closer at people like Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, and the other individuals involved. I would like to advance my knowledge of them and recognize what they tried to do or did for theatre. I also would like to keep a rehearsal journal throughout the rehearsal process to document my development. Finally, by the end of this project I will be able to strongly support the work I have put in the role and clearly speak of my method.
Methodology of this project will be to do what I have been taught to do first, such as reading the play, doing research, looking at given circumstances, objectives, beats, and qualities. I would also like to work on tension release meaning being alone before the show and breathing/stretching and using visualization of my character (of the story I am about to tell) to get my mind in the right place. I would expand from there as I gain more skill and add more tools for me to find ways to grasp a role both truthfully and swiftly.
In final thought, at this time I don’t believe that funding will be needed for my project. A breakdown of how the budget will be spent is to be discussed. For the Evaluation and Measurement of this project I would like to create an evaluating questionnaire for my advisor and jury. I look forward to next year and its production and am very enthusiastic to work on this project.
1705 Dorchester Road, apt. 1C, Brooklyn, NY 11226 firstname.lastname@example.org
December 1, 2014
Dear Mr. Donald Carrier:
It is my pleasure to recommend De’Andre Peterson for MFA acting program at Case Western Reserve University. I met De’Andre a year ago when The Farm Theater began our College Collaboration Program with Ashland University. My first impression of De’Andre was an enthusiastic young artist eager to be involved, wanting to share his opinion, and passionate toward theater. Over the year I have had the pleasure of witnessing his growth and maturity as an artist. He approaches his work personally, with investment, maturity, and he is a leader among his peers.
The Farm Theater’s College Collaboration Program commissions an emerging playwright to write a play specifically for university students. The playwright picks a theme to write on and interviews the students on the topic. Then the play goes on to be produced and developed at each of the three universities. De’Andre was an active part of the process from the very beginning. He was very generous in sharing his experience and opinions with the playwright. He had life experience and a point of view that were invaluable to the playwright. Watching his process was a joy. He immediately entered the work with a great amount of enthusiasm. He worked on the externals of the characters. His initial focus was on the difference between his character and himself. Over the process shifted subtly to marrying himself with his character. He personalized the work. The play dealt with many deep personal issues such as sexuality and suicide, De’Andre met the challenge of what it is to be an artist and to honestly confront these personal connections through the work. De’Andre’s performance was excellent. It was very personal. He had a light touch. He had honest moment-to-moment work. And he had an ownership of the themes of the play that some how elevated his work. He also was clearly a leader among the ensemble. My observation of his work ethic, growth in skill, and maturity as an artist prepared him for the next step in his training. He is prepared to work and learn at the graduate level. Also, his commitment to growth and the art of acting will serve him well as he prepare for a long career as a working actor.
Again, it is my pleasure to recommend De’Andre Peterson for the MFA acting program at Case Western Reserve University. De’Andre is a serious artist, committed to growth, brings his personal voice to the work, and makes the ensemble stronger. I am a theater director, company member of Labyrinth Theater Company, and the Artistic Director of The Farm Theater. If you require any further information do not hesitate to contact me.
The Farm Theater
Dear Mr. Donald Carrier & Ron Wilson,
I would like to express my interest in the Case Western Reserve MFA Acting Program. As a student of the Ashland University Theater department I have gotten a very diverse array of teaching. I have gotten to work both on and off stage with our university productions. But my interests and curiosity are in learning more about my tool(s), my body and all of its capabilities to better my performance exhibition. Since my time here at Ashland I have learned the history, technology, art, and acting methods of theater, I have now come to the point at which I would like to dive deeper into the core of me. I have the desire to take this thing called theater and work toward an awareness of my entire whole me. During my acting classes with Fabio Polanco we worked a lot with Michael Chekhov, and the four brothers, feeling of Ease, feeling of form, feeling of beauty, and feeling of the whole. This class peaked my interested because it allowed me to play and discover my complete body (tool) and figure out how to use it. I began the work of learning how to use such things as molding, flowing, flying, and radiating to set scene before I ever spoke a word. Learning those skills added so much more power and depth to my acting and I enjoyed that process of learning and discovering. Fabio also brought a great knowledge and love for Shakespeare and “heighten language” text. I only got a semester to spend with that topic of learning, but treasured the work ethic of the words of Shakespeare and would greatly be interested to going further with it.
I am searching for a MFA program that will give me the space and place to grow as a performer. A program that will allow me to feed my curiosity, teach me new ideas and add more versatility to my craft, where my initiative to try new things is welcomed, and most importantly a program that will not take away but continue fuel my drive to do what I love, act. With a staff that will be able to work in collaboration toward my goals with me and support me, but also challenge my mind and body to its most top performance level. I want to learn the details of voice work, body aliment, the art of mask work, and all the other areas a theater artist should be aware of, that I am currently not. I want to be better than the last me on stage! I want to learn more! And I believe that the Case Western Reserve MFA Acting Program is the place where my aspirations will be met and begin their journey to the next step in my career.
Thank you for your consideration,