Monday morning, I saw an ad on a website looking for black actors to be a part of a staged reading for a play.
I e-mailed my resume and I was contacted on Wednesday for the reading.
I was surprised to get the call because I am not a professional actor!
I don’t know “anything” about acting!
Yes, I had a radio documentary on CBC Radio two years ago but that’s radio not the stage.
The AfriCan Theatre Ensemble is developing a new play called ” Woman King”.
I attended the reading yesterday and I was a bit nervous. The reading started at 10:00am at the Tarragon Theatre.
I met the rest of the cast, some of them are professional actors. We read the play between 10: 00 am to 12:00pm.
At noon, the playwright, York University English professor Mdoupe Olaogun arrived for the cast reading of the script.
We read the play for her and she made some changes to the script.
Next, between 3:00pm to 7:00pm we rehearsed the play with the director.
The rehearsal was fun but it also was tough. The last time I “acted” was when I was just a kid in middle school. I am not an actor!
At 7:00pm, we performed the play for a small select audience of professional playwrights and guests.
It was exciting performing for an audience.
It was nice at the end of the performance to receive a cheque!
I realize though, acting is so hard. I am not from Nigeria, and some of the Nigerian words in the play are hard to pronounce.
The play is still a work in progress and definitely needs a rewrite.
However, I enjoyed the experience but the acting industry is very hard.
We only had four hours to rehearse the play. I tried my best. I know I didn’t pronounce some of the Nigerian words correctly, but I tried.
After the play, cast, director, professional playwrights, and professor Olaogun discussed the nuances of the play.
My opinion is, I felt the play was too “wordy” and a bit “preachy”.
Professor Olaogun obviously has an important story to tell about Nigerian women’s rights.
The general consensus was the play focused too much on “historical information”.
I understand Professor Olaogun wants the public to “understand” the importance of the issues. However, the audience needs to be entertained.
There needs to be more emphasis on the “dramatization” of the “historical events”. The public needs to “see” the “action” not just “hear” about it.
The ending also appeared “rushed” and too “simplistic”. I don’t believe an evil king would just “abdicate” the throne without a fight.
I hope professor Olaogun wasn’t offended by my comments? I am cognizant of the fact that professor Olaogun’s script will improve and get