Thursday, January 22, 2015

Abby - New to Some, Familiar to Others

Abby and Kerry improvise a scene in rehearsal.
Let's jump back to the acting side of things of Veni, Vidi, Vici with Abby who joins the cast and crew of Signature in the Schools for the first time. 

"In the past year, Signature in the Schools has become such an important part of my life. I met David (Director), Matt (Dramaturg) and Karl (actor) during Anne and Emmett in the fall and knew several of the cast from the Fine Arts Apprentice Program, but I was still a newcomer to this particular part of the program. It was a little intimidating. But, from day one, I realized I had found a place where I could feel safe. It is a program incredibly centered on trust, so even on the first day I felt comfortable and respected. Everyone was there to learn and have fun, and that was a really exciting environment to be in.

Karl and Abby in Anne and Emmett
One of the unique parts of the Signature in the Schools program is “Boot Camp”. Boot Camp is basically three weeks of extremely intense dramaturgy, acting technique, and bonding to train as an ensemble for the show we will put on in March. The tech and actors come for dramaturgy days and only actors go for the acting technique days.

This year the theme is Imperialism, which is essentially the history of the world. I have never really liked learning about history. And that’s what the dramaturgy days were—learning about history. But the subject matter (Imperialism) is taught in a way that personalizes the information. It helped me realize why knowing how people acted five thousand years ago may be relevant now. It’s crazy that after so many years of learning history in school, I finally have discovered how to become passionate about it.

Abby and Karl are back together in
Signature in the Schools

Acting days are less focused on Imperialism and more focused on basics of acting and trust as a group. Everyone takes the exercises we do very seriously (not to say they’re all serious, they range from intense to hysterical) which allows for some pretty incredible things to happen. It’s pretty amazing what a group of teenagers can do together if they listen to one another and focus. I remember saying that I wish every teenager could have the chance to do some of the exercises we do and have a place where they feel comfortable expressing their ideas and themselves because I have not just bettered my acting skills, but I have learned about myself and the world. You simply can’t find that kind of experience just anywhere.

Abby was a student of Signature's 2014 Stage One program
this past summer.
Last Monday, the day we got our script, my cast mate Brandi and I were texting each other the entire day at school counting down the minutes until we would get to Signature. That sums up my feeling every day now. I always want to be there. And since everyone, actors and tech, learn and grow together, as an ensemble, Boot Camp has made me positive we will all work our butts off to produce an awesome show!"

Be sure to check back in the coming weeks to hear more from the amazing 20th Anniversary cast and crew of Signature in the Schools. For more information on the program be sure to check out our web page. Tickets for this year's production will be available soon through the Signature Theatre Box Office at 703 820 9771.


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