Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Catching Up with Ralph Redpath

Ralph Redpath has a career in the theatre that spans decades. Over the years at ACT, he’s directed everything from Inherit the Wind to Miss Evers’ Boys; most recently, he directed the acclaimed production of To Kill a Mockingbird. He has appeared in or directed over 100 shows during his 44 year history as a member of the acting/directing company at Flat Rock Playhouse. Ralph holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, where he trained alongside Meryl Streep. Up next at ACT, he’ll direct Not Now, Darling which opens in August 2015.

Ralph is also teaching our Adult Acting Class this spring, and we caught up with him to talk characters, collaboration, and critique.

ACT: What can students expect to work on in the class? 

RR: We do monologues and scene studies, with the scenes usually between two people. We work on character development. Usually, I will pick something for each student, but we also have people bring things in that they’d like to work on, that they’d like feedback on. In my class, everyone participates in honest and respectful critique. It’s very collaborative in that sense.

ACT: What do you want people to know about your class?

RR: It’s a kind class. No one yells, no one screams. It’s a safe space to experiment and to try new things. Trying something new is so important, and in this class, the pressure is off so that you can. It’s a great way to learn, to get help, and also to really increase your self-awareness and get to know yourself.

At the same time, there’s outside work that you have to do. You do have to learn your lines. That’s expected.

ACT: What’s most exciting for you as a teacher?

RR: You get to watch people open, watch people as they find parts of themselves. And if you’re a theatre junkie like I am, it’s pretty exciting to spend time exploring the text. I love hearing students’ interpretations of a script and thinking, “I’ve never thought of it that way before!”

I had a student last year whose native language was not English and she had never taken an acting class before. She did a scene from The Glass Menagerie; she was totally unfamiliar with the script or with the characters. The innocence and the openness she brought to the scene were just beautiful.

I also love to see someone really surprise themselves. Someone will have a comedic scene, someone who’s never really done comedy before, and they’ll do the scene and get a laugh, and they are totally not expecting it. That’s wonderful to see.

ACT: Why should someone take this class?

RR: Dancers practice. Musicians practice. You want to get better at something, you practice. Taking an acting class is keeping the gears going. Plus, you get to walk away with experience that you can take with you into an audition.

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Many thanks to Ralph for spending a great afternoon with us! Now it's your turn! Want to take Ralph's class? Click here to register!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cast List: A Chorus Line

Though we cast A Chorus Line several weeks ago, the cast list never made it to our blog! So without further ado, here it is!

Cast (in alphabetical order)
Diana … Taylor Aldrich
Al … Charlie Burchill
Greg … Bradshaw Call
Larry … Marcos Cunha
Maggie … Alexa Edelman
Paul … Andrew Espenshade
Mike … Ben Falcon
Mark … Carson Fox
Connie … Rachel Gordon
Don … Ben Harrison
Francis … Kristen Hipps
Chorus … Zac Landolt
Judy … Reeni Lindblum
Richie … Corey Link
Sheila … Alex Likens
Bebe … Fleming Lomax
Zach … Badi Micheli
Cassie … Rebecca O'Quinn
Val … Candice Owen
Tricia … Karyn Panek
Vicki … Jessica Savitt
Kristine … Sam Stewart
Butch … Katie Turner
Lois … Madeline Wadley

Bobby … Jacob Walas

A Chorus Line opens February 6, 2015 and runs through March 1, 2015.