David Kaplan, Curator of Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, is set to share the craft of Williams' monologues in an acting workshop at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. The workshop, titled "Telling A Story: What Acting in Tennessee Williams Plays Teaches Us About Acting in All Plays" will take place on Friday, February 1, 12:30 p.m. in Hyannis, Mass.
Kaplan, co-founder and curator of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, has taught theater students throughout the United States and Europe using the aria-like speeches from Tennessee Williams plays as examples of how to work in all plays.
The author of two series of textbooks, Five Approaches to Acting and the Impolite Guides to Theater History, will be offering a 90 minute lecture-demo with in-class scenework at the KCACTF's Region One Festival being held in Hyannis, Cape Cod this year.
"Working with monologues from Tennessee Williams plays offers actors opportunities to tell stories that reveal character," according to Kaplan who will pass on practical techniques for actors, directors, and their teachers. "The principle of the workshop, simply put, is that it's not what you say, it's how you say it - and what happens to you while you say it."
Kaplan says, "The power to place an image in other people's minds, and to make that image vivid enough to arouse listeners to emotions of their own, is rightly called casting a spell -"Telling a Story" gives students a chance to practice true witchcraft - the casting of a spell on audience members so that they see what isn't there."
Williams, a major force in American theater, created many unforgettable characters and roles sought after by actors. Kaplan will work with Blanche's story of lost love in "A Streetcar Named Desire," Tom's story in "The Glass Menagerie" of the Paradise Dance Hall across the street, among others.
A Williams' scholar, Kaplan is the author of Tennessee Williams in Provincetown and editor of Tenn at One Hundred: The Reputation of Tennessee Williams. He has directed productions of Williams' plays in Europe, Asia, and throughout North and South America, most recently in Uruguay.
In 2006, Kaplan co-founded the prestigious Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, the nation's largest performing arts festival dedicated to the work of American's great playwright, for which he is curator. In 2012, the Festival launched the Tennessee Williams Institute, offering an immersion in a graduate-level learning experience during the four day Festival: an opportunity to learn from distinguishEd Williams' scholars while experiencing live productions from around the world. For more on this year's Festival, Tennessee Williams and Women: 50% Illusion, Sept 25 - 29, go to www.twptown.org.
KCACTF is a national theater program for colleges and universities that has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival celebrates the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs presented in regional festivals of productions and workshops. Cost for the full week for New England Region One Festival Tues, Jan 29 - Sat, Feb 2 is $95, or $40 for one day. Register at www.kcactf1.org.
Photo Credit: Rory Marcus