2005-03-10

Easter Pageant: Point


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We saw the Easter Pageant at Southeast last night. As always, it was amazing and challenging. There was however, one piece of it that I'm going back and forth on.

In past year's, their Satan has been around for the temptation, then blows up and we never see him, that's HIM, again. This year, Satan was played by a woman (although she is cloaked so the effect is gender-neutral), was much more subtle yet much more sinister in her creepiness, and was woven into scenes throughout the production in situations where one would expect Satan to be hard at work. Sound familiar? Basically their Satan concept this year was lifted wholesale from "The Passion."

This is where I'm having trouble. IMHO this is a great way to portray Satan, but as an actor, I have some trouble with "borrowing" the genius of others. There are two parts to character development (well two parts that pertain to this discussion).

First, there are the lines and stage directions written into the script. Obviously every player should do those things ... that's what a script is for. Then there are the other things each actor adds that make the part his own. For my money, these things, however much they might add, are off limits to other actors.

I've been in situations where I've played a part that I'd seen others play before, and was careful to steer clear of their unique additions. Sometimes it is tough. You look at something and think, "That is genius! It would add so much here ..." In the end I was glad I went my own route. This forced me to spend a lot more time working on and thinking about the character, which always pays off in the end.

Counterpoint over at i-disciple.com later on.

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