By Jake Penner
For all those who’ve never helped stage a play before, the rehearsal period is always a fun experience. A cast and crew often takes away more than a few inside jokes after being locked in a room with each other for a month.
So this week, we’re giving our loyal Forward Theater blog readership an inside look at a few of the funniest moments from the Sons of the Prophet rehearsal period. Following are three of my favorites...
1) Actor Michael Herold’s gradual transformation into Carl from Disney-Pixar’s Up.
Sometime around Scene 2, you might start getting the feeling like you’ve seen one of us before.
You have. When in costume, Michael Herold, playing Uncle Bill Douaihy, looks uncannily like Carl from the Pixar film Up. Herold’s transformation has been gradual, but by the time we hit the stage for real come November 7th, he should be fully Carl-ized, cardigan and all!
2) Actor/Director Nick Harazin helps me visualize an important story element.
For a creative type, I’m surprisingly unimaginative. So when it came time to start working on my character Charles’ defining characteristic -- a gift for equating a country’s shape to animals or everyday objects -- I needed all the help I could get.
Thankfully, Actor/Director Nick Harazin (apparently) has some free time on his hands. Midway through the rehearsal process, Sons of the Prophet created a Facebook group for sharing dramaturgical info, which included Harazin’s helpful drawings of countries as their everyday objects (See below).
A nice Easter egg for our blog readership when you come to see the show next week.
3.) Karen Moeller, MD…
Some actors like to approach a role from a technical standpoint, working tirelessly on analyzing text and vocal technique. Others prefer to access their characters via emotional or sense memories first.
And then others, like Karen Moeller, prefer to buy spinal tap kits and scare the hell out of the rest of us.
Late in the play, one of the characters undergoes the very painful procedure. Moeller, playing the doctor who administers the spinal tap, researched the process to the point of being able to identify every instrument in the spinal tap kit and timeline the process beat by shuttering beat. I don’t know how she learned all this -- I don’t want to know -- but Moeller has assured us that many hours of YouTube video were consumed in service of getting her character just right.
How’s that for professionalism?
A comedy about suffering.
In addition to being a timely exploration of pain, faith, and family, Sons of the Prophet is an unbelievably funny play. Come see the midwestern premiere at Overture Center, opening November 7th - November 21st.