Saturday, August 20, 2011

39 Steps: And now some words from...

Good Evening,
Today we begin exploring the thoughts of various other members of the company. We start with Rebecca Noon. Enjoy this guest post and see her on stage in 35 days…
Rebecca Noon is a producer, actor and deviser based in Providence, RI. She is a founding member of Strange Attractor Theatre Co. with whom she is currently developing a new play based on Ibsen’s classically “unperformable” epic “Brand”. You can follow more of her thoughts on play-making at

Hello to the Perseverance/39 Steps blog –
I am performing in The 39 Steps, which is a dream play for someone like me, a character actor who loves doing funny voices.  I am playing the three "romantic women": Annabella Schmidt the German spy, Maraget McTyte the demure Scottish lass, and Pamela Edwards the young and beautiful Brit who gets caught up in the lead character's get-away. What's even better is that the other actors in the show are three of my favorite collaborators.
Aram Aghazarian, Roblin Gray Davis, Jed Hancock-Brainerd and I make up the theatrical devising company Strange Attractor.  We have made a few shows together, most recently presenting Phase II of a show in development at the Perseverance 2nd Stage, The Brand Project (working title).  We all met while studying together at the London International School of Performing Arts, which is a Lecoq-based school in London that teaches devising and collaboration and, quite humbly, how to build the theatre of the future.  Since graduating in 2008, we have all been working at doing just that.  In 2009 Perseverance first invited Aram, Jed, and I (who all live on the East Coast) to perform in a show in their season, Eurydice.  Roblin was directing and we all jumped at the chance to work together in Juneau.  The joy of being a guest artist in such a warm and creative community impressed us right away and, at the end of that winter, we all looked forward to returning.  This time however, rather than having Roblin in the director's chair, we are all on stage together, which is always the most fun.
Which brings me to what I am actually the most excited about.  For the past year I have been pretty exclusively devising shows, which at our level means working without a producer or designers or a director.  Truthfully, I love the crazy amount of work that comes from working this way.  I love the all-consuming manic energy that comes with producing a play that you are simultaneously marketing and creating.  However, it does get exhausting.  When Perseverance proposed that all four of us could be actors in this play, supported by a team of talented designers and a generous director who recognizes what we bring as an ensemble, I knew this was a dream come true.  I think we all did.  Jed, Aram and I knew we had to put our East Coast lives on hold for a few months and return to Juneau to take this opportunity to play together in a supportive and creative environment.
And alright!  Enough with the love-fest!  How is it really?  Well. . . great!  We haven't even had a week of rehearsals yet, and so I am sure there is still time to get grumpy and resent working with a script that I can't invent and get annoyed at whatever small thing comes up that feels large at the moment, but for now I am in awe of my capable partners. I sat back at rehearsal last night and watched them work a scene I am not in.  I had one of those moments that comes at the very beginning of some shows where you just say to yourself, oh yeah.  This is going to be good.
-Rebecca Noon

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