Friday, 18 May 2012

Adjudication of The Mouse House

Compiled by Anne Mooney, Community Theatre Coordinator

Highlights from the detailed adjudication by Annette Procunier of Peterborough Theatre Guild’s presentation of The Mouse House at Theatre Ontario Festival 2012.
  • At the adjudication, Robert Ainsworth, writer/director told the story of the birthing of the play.  After having a panic attack on a plane due to the confinement of the space, he began to think in terms of being trapped and the exploration of that theme became the play.
  • Annette spoke about the technical aspects of the play first.  She felt the play was beautifully produced with incredible attention to detail.  The crew created a believable cottage environment.  She felt that the set did not need the upstairs bedroom – the audience kept waiting for things to happen up there and it was not used after the first scene.
  • There were good moments of expectation when things were happening (can’t tell you what, would spoil the moment)
  • The Bobby character is an awkward character to play.  The character sets up the situation and then disappears from the play.  The actor was truthful in her part and Annette suggested that there were opportunities for the actor to explore the character’s hard edge versus her softer side.  She was energetic and poised.
  • Carson, the lead character, had a good sense of the room – it was a comfortable space but also held some not so good memories. 
  • The lighting was extremely well coordinated and the audience could see whether the scene was at night or in daylight.  Annette suggested that more attention could be played to outside the cottage.  In this kind of play, what the audience imagines outside is very important.
  • The clothing reflected who the people were. 
  • These characters were interesting characters to pursue and were well-developed by these actors.  They were rooted and grounded and as the audience we felt we were in an established situation and not walking into a play.  Annette spoke to each actor about how they could tweak their characters technically.
  • Of particular note was a discussion about the development of the character of Troy as a tough street kid.  Note to actors – in rehearsals start by being over the top, play with your role.  It is easier for a director to pull the actor back to where the character needs to be rather than drawing the character out.  The director’s job is to say to the actor - that’s it – that’s where the character should be.
  • The fight choreography is the most difficult to stage in a play and this company did it very well. 
  • When it came to the dialogue in the play it was obvious to Annette that the actors and director took time and care with the monologues.  The performers had great attention to detail, they were well-matched on stage and skilled as actors.  They talked to each other and their characters were established from the beginning.  They also took the time to allow the physicality of the moments to tell the story.  They created a level of consistency throughout the play. 
  • It was noted that this is the only play with an intermission this week and these actors were able to sustain their energy through the intermission.
  • There was an interesting discussion of the ending of the play (again I can’t give too many specifics, don’t want to ruin the plot) about creating more menace and tension rather than being too comic.  It was obvious that this company had explored what happened to characters after the play had ended.
  • There was also a technical discussion of the blackouts used in the play.  The blackouts were good and quick but suggestions about brownouts as a way to move the story along were made. 
  • Note to everyone, this company used an infrared system to see the actors in the dark.  Let’s investigate.
  • Annette said that speaks to the attention to detail by the company.  The stage management and technical crews of our shows need as much time as the actors to rehearse the show.

No comments:

Post a comment