For our next upcoming show, Theatre Games, we decided to ask the playwright, Pharyne Stephney, a few questions about her play. This is Pharyne’s debut play and Voices Found Repertory is proud to put on the world premiere of Theatre Games, running May 3rd-7th, 2017!
When did you first get the idea for Theatre Games?
I’ve always been a sucker for revenge tragedies, so the summer after I graduated from college I began drafting one of my own. Very early on I decided to set the play in a theatre, so a lot of the initial exploration focused on creating ways to use the actual theatre space as a character. It was really fun writing for actors who aren’t confined to the boundaries of the stage. They use the backstage, light booth, lobby, and even the restroom in realistic ways that make the world of the play extend much farther than what we see right in front of us.
What was the process for creating each character?
It really came down to picking which Shakespeare names I wanted to use, and then building them out from there. Othello was first; I knew immediately that I wanted to have a white Othello, and that irony helped fuel a character who ultimately acts as our window into the quirky world of theatre. I thought it’d be fun to pair a theatre nerd with Macbeth, which created the perfect opportunity to introduce the idea of the “curse of the Scottish play.” The names Titus, Brutus, and Romeo were picked and their roles expanded based on themes from their namesakes’ plays. Princess was probably the most difficult to design. Her personality went through several incarnations. Unlike the men of the show who were fleshed out and then constructed into the plot, Princess’s character was more heavily shaped by the storyline itself.
by Andy Montano, Voices Found Co-Founder and R&J Text Coach/Assistant Director
One of the things I enjoy the most about working with Shakespeare is the examination of the text. One of the ways we found to best describe the work is through metaphor, and over the past couple of weeks we've been thinking of Romeo and Juliet as a VCR.
by Jake Russell Thompson, Voices Found Co-Founder and R&J Director
The first question I have to answer when I start a new project is “what’s the soundtrack?” Even when the show doesn’t call for music, in order to get started I have to come up with a Spotify playlist. Music sets the tone and establishes the atmosphere. Silence is powerful, but so is music, and their balance is important.
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