updates connected to the book Idylls for a Bare Stage
& to performances of the Idylls
& other initiatives related to the Art of the Poetic Monologue

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Performer Profile: Rachel Morrissey, and SAGP panel "Fear and Anger"

As mentioned in the last post, I'll be coming up to New York this weekend to participate in a panel on "Fear and Anger" at the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy conference. 

I'll be staying with friends Rob and Jayne Zweig.  Rob is author of the memoir Return to Naples and Professor of English at CUNY's Borough of Manhattan Community College.  The two performers profiled earlier this week, Kimberly Mikec and Genna Davidson, will stay with Rachel Morrissey, who will play "Leda" on October 22nd, as well as on November 20th at the Athenaeum.

Rachel Morrissey in "Leda" by Anne Ashbaugh

Rachel Morrissey - "Leda" in Anne Ashbaugh's soliloquy

      Included in the book Idylls for a Bare Stage is an introduction discussing the technique I developed over time in working with actors to perform the pieces effectively, to engage "the poetic" and packed language while falling neither into the cliches of poetic "wispiness" nor into the rhetorical bombast of theatricality.  A new - or, old-new - theory of acting and theatre emerged, based on the form of the Idyll itself, yet also relevant and useful to any poetic, or packed, monologue.

     So, in developing the acting theory and techniques along with developing the Idylls for production, I've also developed affinitive works for production.

      Anne Ashbaugh - the host of SAGP's "Fear and Anger" panel - and I met through Furniture Press publisher Christophe Casamassima, and we quickly discovered coincidental interests.  It wasn't too much of a surprise when in response to a discussion about my pursuit of an acting technique for the Idylls, she told me of a poetic soliloquy on Leda she'd just completed - of course, such synchronicity was only natural!  And her soliloquy was/is perfect for our purposes.

     For her to prepare for the part, I asked Rachel to research and get comfortable with her choice of one or two depictions of Leda and the Swan from paintings throughout the ages - she ended up with a vast collection found online, and was comfortable with it all (which is saying much, if you've seen the direction some of these images can take).  She doesn't stint in commitment to delving into the meaning of this story.  Rachel finds her her way into the vast roiling mixture of emotion and implications in Ashbaugh's quick tight piece, resonating and rolling through the multiple levels with which Leda has to take her fate, and new knowledge:  the bestial, the carnal, the human (of human love), and the divine.

     Rachel Morrissey is an actress and storyteller, member of The Actors' Center of Washington D.C., who has recently moved to Manhattan to study as a graduate student in the Media Studies department of The New School.

Along with presenting performances of two idylls and one soliloquy at the SAGP's panel, I'll be talking on Heraclitus' Doctrine of Strife - with "fear and anger" taken as elements of the world dynamism - from my book, Heraclitean Pride.

Heraclitean Pride


2pm. Saturday October 22nd, at Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus,
60th St, & Columbus Avenue.  (Panel attendees need to register to get a badge in order to move around the SAGP conference, but it's free to do so).

Rachel Morrissey will also appear as Leda on November 20th at the Athenaeum, and present as well another monologue relevant to the Idylls approach.

No comments:

Post a Comment