October 27, 2015
On Oct. 14-16, MHS presented the 1668 French comedy The Miser. Under the leadership of drama teacher Steven Jones, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin’s work morphed into a classic 70’s sitcom on the stage of the Performing Arts Center.
According to the Playbill, Jones explains that “we think we are laughing at imperfect characters, when really we are only laughing at our own imperfect selves. Cultural references change, political climates change, and the people in the joke change, but this simple fact remains – we are human.”
The modernized version of Poquelin’s work allows audiences to suspend reality and take a moment to enjoy a relatively humorous situation where others struggle with complications. The process of making a great production requires actors to go beyond their reality and transform into an inner character in place of their own.
Behind the scenes of thereat there is effort and art that goes into the performance that audience members are not familiar with. The actors who participated in the Miser created a series of ways to get into character.
Senior Taylor Morgan, who played Cleante, said, “Talking to my cast members as if they were not themselves but their character is my way of becoming a character.”
For other actors, the method is different. Junior Bryor Jackson said that she studied Disney movies to get into the role of Marianne who is a poor beautiful young lady engaged to a greedy man but in love with his son.
In theater the show must go on regardless of difficulties and complications; many of the actors encountered problems with projecting their voices or simple issues like struggling with constructive criticism.
When faced with challenges these performers see the bright side of theatre. Junior Taylor Morgan said he saw the stage as a calm, euphoric, happy place.