On stage

Drama queens must check their tiaras at the door.
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Chaos
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On stage

Post by Chaos »

Last week I met an old friend had not seen since high school; back then, both she and I had been part of the school´s amateur drama group. Talking to her, all them memories of the "good old times" cam right back to me.

I joined the drama group near the end of my 12th year of school (the next-to-last year in the German school system); actually, I was badgered into joining - my English teacher (who ran the group) and a few of us pupils were talking, he mentioned the drama group and that they were short of male actors. One of my classmates said to him (and I´ll never forgive her for that :P ) "I think Chris would be a good actor." ("Chris", that´s me, by the way) After a short and useless attempt to talk my way out of this, I promised to attend the drama group´s meeting that evening. With that, my fate was sealed.

The drama group met, rehearsed and performed in a slightly dilapidated converted warehouse that housed a small cultural foundation called "Maximal" (a name that derived from the local branch of the Minimal supermarket chain, which was located right across the street - and which prospered greatly selling food and drink to us on rehearsal days). Is was run my English teacher and a student of, IIRC, theatre studies (or whatever the correct term is). Back then there were ten actors, including myself. We were going to a play called "Der Park" ("the park") by Botho Strauss; in a nutshell, is relocated elements of "A Midsummer Night´s Dream" into modern times and mixed it with the author´s criticism of said times. Driven mainly by desperation because a lack of male actors, the teacher and student gave me one of the major roles - the corresponding character in "A Midsummer Night´s Dream" would have been George. (By the way, the old friend I met last week was playing Titania - every inch a queen, to paraphrase the Bard of Avon)
To make a long story short, although many of us didn´t have any stage experience at all, we managed to make a great performance. Standing on the stage after the play was over, bathing in the applause of the audience, was the best experience I have ever had in my life.

Our next play, scheduled a year after my first (the group´s third), was actually two similar plays by the same author combined into one: "A Peace" and "Lysistrate", both by Aristophanes. In "A Peace", a Greek rides a magical dung beetle up into heaven to ask the gods to bring peace to humanity; in "Lysistrate", the women of Athens and Sparta decide to go on "bed strike" until their husbands make peace with each other.
I only had a small part this time - and I needed a little less stress anyway, after having to learn half the play last time around. My character appeared only in one scene, but I still think it was best scene of the whole play...
During the strike, my character, Kinesias, tries to sneak into the Acropolis, which the striking women have occupied, to meet his wife and have...well, you can guess :oops: . The women spot him approaching and decide to play a trick on him. His wife meets him, pretending to also want to :oops: ; she leads him to a secluded spot for that purpose, but manages to stall him again and again by fetching first a matress, then a pillow, a sheet,...etc. etc.; finally she has my character all covered up like a corpse in the mortuary, then sits down next to him, strokes his :oops: and says "Rise now." And it rose, beneath the sheat - oh how much it rose... :shock: :oops: :wink: (I had a thermos flask hidden behind the stage that I then held upright at the appropriate spot; I think you can imagine what this looks like beneath a sheet :shock: :oops: ) The audience was roaring with laughter, and afterwards I was asked several times how I had done that :?...remember, that was before the times of Viagra... :wink:


It´s getting pretty late here, so I´ll tell you about the other two plays tomorrow...if you are interested.
"Woo-woo is as woo-woo does, to paraphrase Forrest Gump."
-Nyarlathotep

"Dreams are merely the cloaks we use when we wish to escape reality for a short time."
-Nigel

I don´t suffer from meglomania. I enjoy it thoroughly.
-Me

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Some Friggin Guy
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Post by Some Friggin Guy »

I followed this post all the way up to George. I don't recall a George in Midsummer.

Still, I understand the memory thing. I was talked into acting in a similar fashion and continued doing it for about 12 years before I had to give it up for employment reasons (that, and the fact that I refused to join actors equity because it would limit what houses I could perform in.)
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Chaos
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Post by Chaos »

Some Friggin Guy wrote:I followed this post all the way up to George. I don't recall a George in Midsummer.

Still, I understand the memory thing. I was talked into acting in a similar fashion and continued doing it for about 12 years before I had to give it up for employment reasons (that, and the fact that I refused to join actors equity because it would limit what houses I could perform in.)
Do you remember the two couples who flee Athens to consummate their "forbidden" relationships in the first act? The male part of one of these couples was called George.
"Woo-woo is as woo-woo does, to paraphrase Forrest Gump."
-Nyarlathotep

"Dreams are merely the cloaks we use when we wish to escape reality for a short time."
-Nigel

I don´t suffer from meglomania. I enjoy it thoroughly.
-Me

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JamesM
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Post by JamesM »

Chaos wrote:Do you remember the two couples who flee Athens to consummate their "forbidden" relationships in the first act? The male part of one of these couples was called George.
Egeus?
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Some Friggin Guy
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Post by Some Friggin Guy »

Chaos wrote:
Some Friggin Guy wrote:I followed this post all the way up to George. I don't recall a George in Midsummer.

Still, I understand the memory thing. I was talked into acting in a similar fashion and continued doing it for about 12 years before I had to give it up for employment reasons (that, and the fact that I refused to join actors equity because it would limit what houses I could perform in.)
Do you remember the two couples who flee Athens to consummate their "forbidden" relationships in the first act? The male part of one of these couples was called George.
Was that a nick name for Demetrius, or Lysander?
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Chaos
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Post by Chaos »

I only fairly sure that the lovers were George and Hermia, and Lysander and Helena, respectively.

I only read A Midsummer Night´s Dream once, in high school, nine years ago, though, so I might be wrong.
"Woo-woo is as woo-woo does, to paraphrase Forrest Gump."
-Nyarlathotep

"Dreams are merely the cloaks we use when we wish to escape reality for a short time."
-Nigel

I don´t suffer from meglomania. I enjoy it thoroughly.
-Me

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Andonyx
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Post by Andonyx »

Chaos wrote:I only fairly sure that the lovers were George and Hermia, and Lysander and Helena, respectively.

I only read A Midsummer Night´s Dream once, in high school, nine years ago, though, so I might be wrong.
And you are.

As stated above the other male lover was Demetrius.

George?!?!? Where did THAT come from?

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Chaos
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Post by Chaos »

That came from my clear memory that one of the four characters was named the same in both plays. I was certain it was George; now I peeked into my souvenirs from back then and discovered it was Helen. :oops:

Okay, mistake admitted (it was a long time ago, after all). Can we now get back to the regular routine of you all admiring me? ;)
"Woo-woo is as woo-woo does, to paraphrase Forrest Gump."
-Nyarlathotep

"Dreams are merely the cloaks we use when we wish to escape reality for a short time."
-Nigel

I don´t suffer from meglomania. I enjoy it thoroughly.
-Me

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Some Friggin Guy
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Post by Some Friggin Guy »

It's okay, Chaos. I just got really confused is all. I have been in Midsummer twice, but I was never in a role that interacted with the lovers, so my memory of the names could easily have been confused.

I played Bottom both times. Easily my favourite role to play.
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Chaos
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Post by Chaos »

All right...

The next play after that was not one by a famous author, but had been written by one of the actresses. It was kind of a mix between a fairy tale and a fantasy story; the queen´s older sister, who is also a witch and had been disinherited for trying to speed up inheritance (i.e. trying to murder daddy) takes revenge on her sister by murdering the crown princess. For that she allies with a demon who escaped from the prison of Heaven, and is chased by the goddess of love and a divine hunter (played by a guy in camouflage clothes :)) The demon gives here a magic dagger which has the (fortunate, it turns out) trait that if you kill someone with it, and then you are killed by the same dagger within two days, your victim will be alive again. The rest of the play revolves around retrieving the dagger and using it to revive the crown princess.

The play´s characters were pretty whacky. The king (me) was fed up with his job and expressed his intention to change places with the first beggar who showed up. (to which the queen said "Just go ahead..." :()
The crown princess´ suitor was just after the crown and throne, not after the princess herself...when she dies, he says to himself: "A damn shame. But then...she has a sister who is not yet married..." :evil:
The queen´s son is dating the witch´s daughter. The godess of love is more interested in looking for men to :oops: than in finding the demon. The witch´s female servant tries to get the prince to marry her so she can kill him and be a rich widow.
In the end, the other characters confront the witch, but none of them dares to kill her. Finally, the witch says "Do I have do it all by myself?", wrests the knife from the characters, and stabs herself. And they all live (more or less) happily ever after... :)
"Woo-woo is as woo-woo does, to paraphrase Forrest Gump."
-Nyarlathotep

"Dreams are merely the cloaks we use when we wish to escape reality for a short time."
-Nigel

I don´t suffer from meglomania. I enjoy it thoroughly.
-Me