We caught up with Acting apprentice and chorus cast member Adriana Bordea to get some insight into what's happening during HOW TO END POVERTY rehearsals... Here's what she had to say:
Portland Playhouse: HOW TO END POVERTY is considered a "devised theatre" production (a form of theatre where the script originates not from a writer or writers, but from collaborative, usually improvisatory, work by a group of people; usually, but not necessarily, the performers). How is it coming into a devised show vs. a scripted show?
Adriana Bordea: With a scripted show, you have the all-important script which is a great base to jump off for any cast, crew, and design member. With a devised show, it's a completely different story. The best way to describe it would be... first, imagine you have a blank canvas in front of you. You have the basic tools, paint, paint brushes, the canvas, etc., but it is up to you to decide what to put out there for the audience to see. We were given a score of the outlook of the show, and conceptual ideas from the design team, but other than that, the process has been very open and freeing to discover what tactics we can use to engage the audience in a simple but thought-provoking way in order to ultimately answer the question: What approach is needed to end poverty in Multnomah County?
PPH: How is it balancing dance sections, supporting the Core Cast, performing a mini-puppet show, and all your other duties throughout the performances?
AB: It's been awesome to have different duties throughout the show, whether that means supporting my facilitator by passing out supplies, or researching graduation rates of different high schools in the community. My mind is always running ahead of me, and I think that's a fun aspect of devised shows; Whatever information and ideas you have to create are absolutely valid, they have meaning and purpose, which is shown through an interactive theatre piece like this, which gets the audience thinking about their own impact on the world around them.
PPH: Tell us some surprises, challenges, and delights you've found so far. What's your favorite moment so far in rehearsal?
AB: Oh my goodness, there are sooooo many, how do I choose? Oh, first, the dancing has been super awesome. The first day of dance rehearsal, while creating some moves, I held the buttress with my hands and the choreographer suggested I go all the way up. I somehow ended up slightly upside down while hanging a few feet in the air, it was awesome!!!! Another has to be when we got in groups and created a game; Ours was called "Good Foot." Basically, you're in a group, holding hands, and your objective was to knock other people's left foot only using your right foot. I could not stop cracking up, especially when people got so into it. It was, surprisingly, a crazy workout. Oh, and of course, me spilling my coffee from excitement/too much coffee when asked to do something awesome in the show!
Want to see the madness for yourself? HOW TO END POVERTY IN 90 MINUTES (with 99 people you may or may not know) opens next week on February 7. Click here for tickets!