Fri | Dec 14, 2018

Two approaches to acting training

Published:Friday | May 25, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Michael Daley, director of the mystery play being devised from a recently completed workshop at the Phoenix Theatre.

On Monday, I went to the Phoenix Theatre on Haining Road, New Kingston, to see the end-of-programme production involving the participants in a seven-week acting course organised by David Tulloch, the theatre's manager. Of the 17 who started the course, about a dozen made it to the stage.

Divided into two groups, they were directed by Michael Daley and Carolyn Allen in two very different ways. Daley chose to have his group begin to create the play, 'Mystery at the Marquee Theatre', that they were to act in. Not surprisingly, time ran out on them and what we saw were actors, in search of characters, performing in the unscripted scenes of a mystery play with a tentative beginning, an uncertain middle and no end in sight. Optimistically, though, if the performer/playwrights stay together for the next year or so, they may have a commercial work.

Allen focused on acting. Unable to find a script with four women and one man, she chose sections from Ginger Knight's Whiplash and Fallen Angel & the Devil Concubine' by Pat Cumper et al, and showed alternating scenes which rather weakly echoed each other. As an acting exercise, it was much more successful than the other group's effort - but the members have no continuing project to work on.

Tulloch told me that he has similar seven-week courses planned in directing, playwriting, producing and stage management.

M. R.