Jan 232011

                In a matter of 24 hours, my life changed from one of 8th grade middle school actor to a serious thespian as “Tintagiles” in the professional production of Belgium Nobel prize playwright’s Maurice Maeterlink’s  Death of Tintagiles with Ambassador Theater.  Having acted for 2 years at Mark Twain Middle School  in Alexandria, VA and this past fall as “Charlie” in Willy Wonka at Mount Vernon Children’s Theater,  was no preparation for the audition process and lengthy and serious rehearsals led by Director David Willinger, a Maeterlink expert.
                The audition was crazy.  I had contacted Lilia Slavova, a  theater director and teacher that I met last year at an improvisation class at Synetic Theater.  I told her that I wanted to take lessons and get more serious about acting.   She proceeded to tell me about an audition being held the next day .  Tomorrow?  Yes!  That is when I scrambled to learn a monologue with my middle school teacher, Sara Lebowitz,  that day and the next, the day of the audition.  Professional actors should always have several monologues already prepared for situations like this, a valuable lesson learned! 
I arrived at the audition where a new  theater company, Ambassador Theater, was looking for a young boy to play a part, with all professional  actors.  Hanna Bondarewska, the founder of the theater instructed me to do the monologue on videotape to be sent to New York.  New York, I thought wow, this is big!   I controlled my nerves and delivered my monologue.  Then, I read lines from the play with the founder of Ambassador.   My mom was able to watch secretly in the adjacent room.
I  got the part.  Rehearsals started in January and were 3-5 times per week.  What impressed me most at the first meeting was that we didn’t jump in to learn lines or “block” the play.  Instead, we spent hours talking about who the playwright was, what the Symbolist movement was, how he was ahead of his time and in some ways how truly depressing the play is.  After all, I as “Tintagiles” die in The Death of Tintagiles.
 This play is one of two plays featured under the title of “Under the Shadow of Wings – plays of Mystery.  The other play featured is from India called Karna and Kunti by Rabindranath Tagore.  The Embassy of India and Embassy of Belgium are sponsors of this program.  The plays are recommended for ages 10 years and over and will be held from Jan. 25th – Feb. 12 at Mead Theater Lab at Flashpoint in Washington, DC.

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