Review – Six Characters in Search of an Author
By Ariana Rose
In the play, Six Characters in Search of An Author, it’s impossible to discern where illusion began and reality ended on stage. Only a few questions were answered and many still remain…Were they actors or characters? Does reality truly exist? Are we only acting ourselves? Why does no one like writers? (Everything will make more sense once you’ve seen the play!)
Tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday night. Consider inviting your friends or family to see it with you. Though it’s recommended that they are 15+.due to one of the themes not being very appropriate for children. Tickets can be purchased here from as low as $10. Asking someone helping at the door for a program before the show is always helpful too.
Top and Tail Theatre company invited the audience last night to see what an average rehearsal looks like. In the middle of rehearsing a scene from Sean Wcislo’s play Roommates Live from Apartment 19, six characters suddenly appear and demand for their story to be staged. Beginning as a comedy, the play quickly became a melodrama. Even though the company eventually lost control of the stage, I thought the lighting, sound and set were brilliantly eerie. This had the intended effect on the audience and certainly added to the ‘dramatic action’ of the play. The characters were very realistic, while the actors were consistently in character even if the characters wished to deny it! You’ll be left wondering where lost characters end up, and will also receive a quick education of theatre.
The adapted script remains true to Pirandello’s ideas on dramatic creative writing, stagecraft, the rehearsal process, characters and the various perspectives that create a story. It also critiques playwrights on the many characters they create but never use, who might be condemned to living through their life story, eternally suffering. Part of the dialogue was rejuvenated and modernized from Moulds’ adaptation to suit the Top and Tail Theatre Company. (This script change was encouraged by the ‘Hypocrites’ for future performances) While I did take a look at the original adapted script, I was really surprised and intrigued by the unique choices Top and Tail Theatre made in creating their production of Six Characters.
Play: Six Characters in Search of An Author
Venue: Studio 411 (Murdoch University, South Street Campus, Carpark 4, near the gym)
Showings: Thursday night, June 16th, Friday night, June 17th & Saturday night, June 18th
Genre: Absurdist meta-theatrical, around 80 minutes
Director: Nick Morant
Theatre Company: Top and Tail Theatre
Script Written by: Luigi Pirandello, Adapted by: Steve Moulds (Playscripts Inc.)
Starring: Tay Broadley, Mike Casas, Claire Tebbut, Jonathan Maddocks, Leigh Fitzpatrick, Abbey McCaughan, Sean Wcislo, Clare Talbot, Brianna Lea and Jordan Baynes.
Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) was a dramatist and novel writer from Sicily, Italy. He studied Languages and dialectology in Sicily and Bonn before moving to Rome. He wrote poetry, short stories, and novels. The main highlight of Pirandello’s writing career was the 44 plays he published. Pirandello wrote ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ in Rome 1921. The play has been performed and adapted several times since then. This particular adaption was produced in Chicago, Illinois by ‘The Hypocrites’ and first performed between February 1st-March 11th 2012.
The Hypocrites are a company that was founded in 1997 by the artistic director, Sean Graney. The company’s main aim is to stage deeply engaging plays which the audience can connect to and have a role in the performance. While they are known for staging adaptations, they also sometimes work on new plays. Steve Moulds wrote the adaptation for The Hypocrites. The script and cast was altered to suit the Hypocrites’ company mission in their 2012 productions. Steve Moulds studied at the University of Texas at Austin and has an MFA in playwriting from the Michener Center for Writers. He has worked for theatre companies in Louisville, Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Denver.