Wednesday, October 26, 2011


One of the main reasons I came to Oxford was because I love theatre, and plan to make my career as a theatre teacher. Oxford is a wonderful place for theatre, an hour away from the birthplace of Shakespeare in one direction, and London's West End in the other. It is the school where many noted actors got their starts. Yet, what appealed to me, was the simple fact that drama is University-wide. All 38 Oxford colleges, along with Brookes University, and a large number of non-college community members both amateur and professional, all form the rather oversized Oxford Univeristy Dramatics Society.

On Sunday, I had a read-through for Noughts and Crosses, a play based on a YA novel. It is sort of like Romeo and Juliet, only set in a world where whites (Noughts) are a minority and blacks (Crosses) are the majority, and the time is similar to the 60s, especially to the events surrounding the Little Rock Nine (only in reverse). I play Ryan, the father. It is a meaty, challenging role, which I will enjoy, and is a stretch for me- as I am essentially in the white equivalent of the Black Panthers. I also like the role becuase it is not too huge, so I should have time to do another play.

On Monday I auditioned for A Man for All Seasons. It was one of the most challenging auditions I've ever had. It was me, the director, and the Assistant Director alone in the Oscar Wilde Room (a very odd place- pink lights and giant pictures of Wilde) of Magdalen College. I was there for over 40 minutes. I had to present a monologue, then the director, Griff, broke it down by beat and intention, stripping away everything I had prepared and leaving me with just the words. Very intense. I have not heard back yet.

Earlier on Monday, I had my first Play Reading and Creative Writing Tutorial. This was the tutorial I was looking forward to the most, a topic I essentially made up, but they agreed to let me do. My tutor was 20 minutes late, but our session lasted a full two hours- twice as long as we had been assigned, which was great. In the class, I read plays (that session was actually on Wilde, very ironic), analyze them intellectually in a paper and discussion, and then come up with a creative piece based on what we're doing. For the first class, I had written a ten minute scene about the Genesis story but set in a pub, in a very Wilde-like style. It was fun, and I like being able to think about theatre so in depth, going into ideas I hadn't really thought of before, in this case setting the show in an actual pub, to bring a better audience experience.

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