Thursday, 15 May 2014

Highlights of the Adjudication of Theatre Kent's Doubt, A Parable

By Anne Mooney, Community Theatre Coordinator

This morning, the cast and crew of Theatre Kent’s production of Doubt, A Parable under the leadership of Director Norm McLeod and Stage Manager Gina Paradis had a lively conversation about the production with adjudicator Bea Quarrie.
Zoe Burbank and Audrey Hummelen in
Theatre Kent's Doubt, A Parable
Photo by Cheshire Media

Bea began by asking the cast and director each a question which she wanted them to answer at the end of the adjudication.  Then she spoke about what she saw, making sure to dialogue with each cast and crew member and addressing each department.

The following are the highlights of the session as I noted them.
  • The set and costume choices enhanced the play’s hierarchical structure - clergy, nuns and laity.  The priest was centred and higher on the stage when giving sermons, Sister Aloysius’ office was on a low riser and packed with furniture making it a confined space in which to live and work.  The nuns were in drab serviceable habits, the priest had luxurious robes and Mrs. Muller arrived in her Sunday best prepared to battle for her son.  In a scene where the priest and nun could not be in a room together without another person present, the door to Sister Aloysius’ office became another character dividing the two, much like a confessional until the arrival of Sister James.  
  • The cast were asked about their characters and suggestions were made to be as specific as possible about their character – age, times in which they lived, as finding the reality of their situations helps to inform their performances. 
  • Bea was also impressed with the many great moments and silences the cast and director found in the play.  She had suggestions to more fully strengthen and clarify some of these moments.
  • Bea and Norm (director) had an informative discussion out Norm’s choice to use black outs between scenes.  Bea felt that the blackouts broke the tension developed by the scene and created an additional hurdle for the actors to overcome (in this case successfully) to draw the audience back into the story.  Both Bea and Norm came up with ways to make these transitions between scenes much more fluid.
The adjudication was forthright, honest and collaborative.

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