Audition Notice - CLINK by Hannah Foulger

Currently casting for one of my upcoming projects.....Check it out!


A New play by Hannah Foulger 

Directed by Kendra Jones

Running July 15-23 at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival

Rehearsals will run on evenings and weekends starting in May. Times and lengths to be determined based on cast/crew availability

AUDITIONS: February 20, 5:30 - 10:00 at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film

One role:
RACHEL: 20s, Smart, successful bride determined not to become a Bridezilla.

If interested please send your resume and headshot to 

Profitshare to be determined. 

Review - The Conquest of the South Pole by Manfred Karge - Arcola Theatre @ The Rose, Kingston

In premise, a strong idea; 4 unemployed lads from east London, working their way through social exclusion in their own way, bond over the story of an expedition to the South Pole that begins as an escape, but slowly merges with their own reality. The job market, prospects, become metaphorically the endless antarctic ice, and the goal of reaching the South Pole something never fully attainable. Very timely in its subject matter, the production unfortunately does not hold up. The script - disjointed and episodic - felt as though it was being moulded into a linear, psychological storyline, rather than allowing the juxtaposition of scenes that may or may not make sense. Having not read the original German version, it is tough for me to say just what role translation and direction jointly held in this.

The performances were adequate at best, with mere moments of interest perking up for me. I strongly dislike actors who appear to be over-directed, with choreographed physicality that does not come across as natural to their being. This may seem like a contradiction given my penchant for physical theatre and dance, however pieces which manage this balance of choreography that seems to be pouring out of the actor rather than painted on it are truly remarkable, and what we strive for. This piece did not have this quality.

Again, I stress, there were moments. Unfortunately they were few and far between, the gaps being overwhelmed by actors shouting in roaming accents.

I do, really, see a seed of something interesting here - it simply didn't get to blossom.

Some Business With A Camel

This was our final approaches class for the Autumn term....true evidence that time is rapidly slipping by. Our group began in Acting Space with Sue, our course leader, who asked us to respond both to Brian's class and the Barbican Hamlet in some way. Some pairs chose just to talk about their experience, some chose a demonstration. We chose to create a scene which demonstrated our experience of Brian's approach, while commenting on Hamlet and what challenged us in the production. This was met with success. It was really great to watch and listen to everyone talking about their individual experiences in this way.

Next we went to dramaturgy in which Paul Sirrett answered our questions/led a discussion first about working as a dramaturg, and then about working as/being a playwright. This was a really great discussion, and a reminder that even those who work and whom some may deem have "made it" have the same insecurities, need to push forward, and effort to make/find work that those of us starting out do.

Yes. No.

Thursday was our final Acting Space with the brilliant Brian Stirner. We continued to work on the Chekov scenes, slowly moving into the text as written, although as Brian said, a lot faster than he usually likes to work. Slowly, putting the "real" words in, but trying to keep the spark and energy of the improvised versions of the scenes. What I found really interesting was that Brian's first direction to me was to keep myself separated from Ferapont, which in rehearsal resulted in a sad, depressing Andrij. Upon seeing the scene Thursday he recommended that we try the scene as a "release" - both Andrij and Ferapont need to talk to someone, and are grateful for the chance to talk, knowing they are not equals. Of course, this was opposite to what he had directed previously, so at first we were confused. After trying it we quickly realized that the effect of this was to have the deep sadness droning underneath while the happy, facade was smoothing over top...just like the Matisse sketch.

Watching each group do their scene really reminded me of how much more watchable this was. It was a way to have "something going on" just based on the words, the emotion in the text...and then smooth it out with the intention in the scene.

We did some great exercises too...shaking out limbs and eventually our whole body in a loose dance...just letting whatever comes up happen. I really want to keep using the focus exercise, working your way up from feet to face, really looking at each thing with curiosity. It reminds you that at its heart, acting is PLAYING like a child, with insatiable curiosity. Without curiosity actors are boring. As well, we did some Meisner style exercises in pairs with simple text such as Yes/No, Yes You Will/No I won't, and then back to back Listen To Me/Get Off My Back.

MAN will I miss this class. We are hoping to organize a couple workshops once Brian is back from Brazil. I hope we can make this happen.

Let Stuff Happen

I look very forward to our acting space class each week; the space Brian and our class have created is one that is comfortable, relaxed, a place to try new things..where it is ok to fail. This week we began to look at Chekov, specifically being assigned scenes from The Three Sisters to work on with a partner or trio. Because I feel so comfortable in this class, I opted to look at Andrij. On my most recent read of this play he really stood out to me as the most interesting character, and I look forward to the chance to explore him, a character I wouldn't regularly get to play.

We spent most of the time working on an improvisation of the ideas of the scene, putting it into our own words. Unlike when we did this with the Shakespeare scene, which was very much outward, the Chekov text is very inward, and as much about what isn't being shown as what is being shown. Our scene is with Andrij and Ferapont, where Andrij is confessing his misgivings to himself, with Ferapont there as an unhearing sounding board. What we really found with our first couple improvisations is just how much the two of them aren't talking at all - it is two monologues on stage at the same time. For Andrij, jumping through the thoughts inwardly is the key. We then watched each group's improvisation - Brian's main focus was to ensure we weren't "Acting", not letting business get in the way of understanding the thoughts and emotional centre of these characters. It was remarkable what occurs when we do this; when we really think as the character and as he said..stuff begins to happen between these two people.

We are going to continue work on these off-book at the next class.


today was a meandering sort of a day. Spent the morning reading and researching in preparation for Ludus Danielis. Also discovered the greatness of Foyle's bookstore, which is my official favourite place in London, I think. Short of going to a theatre-only book store, this shop has the largest selection of theatre, criticism, and SO many plays.

From here I had various meetings with my groups for Ludus Danielis, and then for Scene Study presentations. I'm feeling a bit anxious about these presentations, if only because of the very loose parameters we are working under. I think I have done my part of the research sufficiently, and we're going to rehearse it over the weekend. Part of me is anxious because I like to be in control, and have things done early....but it is good for me to feel this anxiety. At least I tell myself that.

Finally got to Acting Space. Our course leader, Sue Dunderdale, was observing part of the class today. Today Brian had sent us some Shakespeare texts to review in advance; 1.1 from Twelfth Night, and Marcus' speech upon finding Lavinia in Titus. I was excited, as I really love the character of Viola, and absolutely love that specific speech from Titus, having used it as a starting point for my physical piece Lavinia I created a few years ago. We began with some basics; read the Twelfth Night scene, decode what it means, then get in partners and talk it through colloquially from memory, to get the thought process going. From here, we began to discuss verse and how to approach it. Brian is a believer in understanding the pulse and rhythm of the text first, fully feeling in your whole body how the text moves rhythmically; from here you back off the technical reading of it and feel the emotional content.

We tried this out with a short few lines between Romeo and Juliet. Something Brian really emphasized is the need to fight for each word, and to push through to the end of the line, particularly in scenes, so that you are passing the energy and rhythm to your fellow actor. This was a lightbulb moment for me, as I realized that so much of the Shakespeare I had done previously was on soliloquies and sonnets...and I hadn't really given a ton of consideration to how to share that energy when someone else is doing half (or more!) of the speaking. One thing he had me do, which really worked, was to push against him and try to move forward as I said the line. This made me need to give each word its own space, literally having to fight for each one, and stopped me from grazing over words.

We then worked on the Titus speech; similarly we began by saying the text colloquially. From here we talked about things like technique; Brian was very cautious that any "rules" are dangerous. Anyone saying "always say a line in x way" risks losing the life and vibrancy of the text. It is important to know each word, why it is there, think about its meaning, and always feel the pulse of the da-dum da-dum da-dum underneath...even in cases of trochees or feminine endings. Another important thing is to keep that rhythm going between lines...don't let the ball drop so to speak.

The next exercises were really moving; we did focus work with our partner, just sitting silently and observing whether we were emerging or withdrawing from them. From here, we took a single line of the Titus speech and spent several moments just imagining it with closed eyes, breathing, in intense detail. From here we opened our eyes and said the line. The imagery in the words came to life in a way I have never personally been able to achieve before; my line was beginning "Alas, a crimson river..." and i literally saw this happening before my eyes in my imagination. I want to do more work like this as a way to approach text that is extremely descriptive, something I have always felt just a little detached from.

Acting Space

Today began for me with a trip to the Library to grab The Oresteia. Because I don't have enough reading to do, i also grabbed a copy of Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis, and a thick book on the "century of revolution" from 1604 onward. Well, that last is preliminary reading before my group meet to discuss our presentation on current affairs and influences on The Duchess of Malfi in three weeks' time.

Next on to Scene Study rehearsal, where we staged our section of Act 1 in The Duchess of Malfi. Went quite well; we had the idea that Ferdinand's court is busy, and everyone is drawn in to Ferdinand and then repelled...with many people constantly watching on, but not necessarily part of the immediate action. We have found a neat way to stage it with this in mind, allowing people to move in and away from Ferdinand, illustrating his power, while also giving light to the power alliances showing themselves early in the play. As well, we were able to come up with a solution for some double-casting necessities given the volume of characters in our section. We'll do another bit of rehearsal on Tuesday and then present to the class for discussion. We'll see how it goes!

Finally, on to our actual class; Acting Space with Brian Stirner. As a RADA grad himself, Brian began the class talking about how we were all feeling after our first week, how overwhelming it can all be. He offered some great advice on taking it all in....and then sort of forgetting about the "big deal" of RADA and remembering that anything is only what you make of it yourself and with those around you. It was quite nice for someone actually to talk about it out loud, from a position of authority, but also knowing just what we were feeling in the moment. We quickly dove into exercises; beginning with some walking around the room, changing focus from people's feet upward, all the way to making eye contact. From here, we had a bit of a chat about what acting is, and what our expectations are of performances, which felt like a great starting point to further work. This included sharing a Matisse sketch of a woman (like the one above...not quite the same one). I really liked how he likened acting to the sketch; the text is the firm lines, and the excitement, the life, is everything else bubbling around it. This is what we strive for. After this, he had a couple people up to do the "moment of silence" in front of the group, which I had done back at UofW. This was a more friendly version though....starting and ending with applause for the person. This made it feel warmer in a way, less abrasive than its method-acting counterpart I had endured in undergrad. Building on this, a physical activity was added, and then a second person...and lines. Building on what made things easier.

From here, we all had a single line, and had to walk about the room, sharing this with people we came into eye contact with, taking them in, or trying to assert ourselves against their emotions. This was interesting, as one could see quite clearly what we put on to words vs what the words give us on their own. Then...drumroll...time for script. We worked in groups of two on a section of After Liverpool focusing on the text and just what came out of reading it. For those unfamiliar, this script has "small talk" conversation, but is missing the "details" so to a line will simply be "my name is." without the noun, but the structure of the ensuing conversation is as though it were there. Clearly this allows for many interpretations. My partner was Holly and we had a fun time interpreting this short scene, into one where my character (A - impelling agent) was quite needy, nearly to the point of creepiness. I felt it imperative to have a quick pace to help us drive this pull between my character's need to befriend, and her character's desire to disengage. When we got up to share with the class this worked quite well, and Brian's comments echoed this instinct.

Overall this was a good day for me. Now, time to read. A lot.