CHS students go out on an acting limb for final show
May 17, 2005
If you like to have your mind stimulated and your emotions stirred a bit, you will enjoy the Carson High School advanced-theater students’ final performance of this school year.
What you’re going to see is something never before tried by the class, taught by Karen Chandler. It’s all experimental – no written script, no formal costumes, little in the way of scenery. Just seven groups of four creating original works based on how they respond to the question, “What is power?”
You may disagree, you may be left behind. But you’ll be seeing students on their way to life trying to deal with real issues, real questions – and possibly not finding real answers. But the journey is going to be worth your time.
The classes read three plays with strong power issues: Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” August Wilson’s “Fences” and Tennessee William’s “The Chalky White Substance.”
“(Students are) working with advanced-acting techniques created by Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints Acting Theory established through her work with the SITI Company in New York and Los Angeles, actors in groups of four experiment with space, text and theme to put forth the essence of power,” said Chandler.
“The work is sophisticated and new. The students have embraced this acting style all year and the culmination, called ‘Composition,’ has been an exciting process to watch.
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“The actors take all the characters, conflict and themes from the plays they have read, freely add other prose, verse and music from outside sources and compose an original work. Almost performance art in nature, largely unseen around here, the pieces somehow still hold together as a complete production of two acts,” she added.
At rehearsal Tuesday, the groups split up during regular class hours to work out their interpretations. One group moved to the Bob Broderick Theater to explore their theme, how people show themselves differently from how they truly are. They use mirrors as the real person, the real face as the other. They smoke cigarettes (herbal, not real) and show themselves … well, they’ll explain.
Admission is $3 for student, $5 for the rest of us. If the production takes in $350 it makes budget (each team got $50 for expenses, most didn’t use it all). Anything over $350 will help pay college costs for graduating seniors.
For the seniors, this truly is the final performance of their high school careers.
n Contact Sam Bauman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1236.