Monday, October 3, 2011

The Boys of Invalid

EMU Theatre presents: Imaginary Invalid opening on October 14 and running through the 22nd. We've been tracking the progress of our actors to give you a little insight on what it's like to be in a EMU Theatre production. First we talked to an actor you may recognize...

Chris Sweet has appeared in other EMU Theatre favorites such as Romeo & Juliet and Hotel Paradiso. In Imaginary Invalid Mr. Sweet plays the role of the hypochondriacs brother, Beralde. When we asked Chris how the process was going for him, he told us, "This character has been really hard for me because [my character] is not funny, he's just smart. It's hard being around all these big characters but Lee's given me a specific direction." 

It can be very challenging when an actor must portray "the voice of reason" in a farce. They don't want their scenes to be boring! They want you to laugh! But they must remain true to the character and provide the audience with an honest perspective. We have the utmost faith in Chris Sweet! He will surely make us proud.

Next we interviewed Mr. Daniel Millhouse, another familiar face among EMU Theatre. He has appeared in productions such as Angels in America, Rocky Horror, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and many others. Daniel is a fourth year Theatre Arts major and Arts Management minor. He's currently involved in several other theatre productions aside from Imaginary Invalid. Daniel Millhouse plays the role of Monsieur de Bonnef, the scheming notary. Daniel described his character as "slimy" and compared him to the child-catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We asked Daniel what he does outside of rehearsals to develop his character and he explained he often works on his character walk on his way to class and is always writing down ideas. "It's impromptu but it needs structure. If you come in with something prepared, it helps the director immensely," said Daniel. (This is why he's fantastic.)

And last but most certainly not least, we spoke with the multi-talented, Craig Draheim. Along with performances in The Prince the Wolf and the Firebird, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Rocky Horror Craig is also the founder of Sad Tire Theatre, an independent theatre company that writes and produces hilarious sketch-comedies about tragedies! Craig is a part of the interlude cast in Imaginary Invalid. In between scenes, the interlude characters perform song-and-dance sequences. Craig plays the role of Polichinelle - a historical character in commedia dell'arte. This has been a particularly challenging experience for Craig because it is strict commedia dell'arte which forces the actors to completely rely on their physicality instead of facial expressions (they will wear the masks in the show). He's been rehearsing his lines in the mirror and constantly trying to develop this "foolish" character WHILE he's opening his own theatre company! Go Craig!

So there you have it! Come see these amazing boys in the show and don't forget about DRAMA DAY on October 22. 

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