Monday, September 23, 2013

I Joined The Cast Of The Foreigner

For the past few weeks, I've been working on my portrayal of Froggy Leseur for a local production of "The Foreigner" by Larry Shue. It has been difficult, primarily because I haven't done a play in nearly a year and I'm finding it hard to nail the nonsensical dialogue that permeates the script. While the overall script is incredibly funny, it suffers from having characters getting caught up in eddies of nonsensical dialogue. For example:

BETTY. (Having noticed something in the woodbin.) Well, would you look at this.
BETTY. Two of 'em, this time. That boy.
BETTY. It's that dumb little Ellard Simms, looky here. He takes one o' my apples, bites out of it, then decides he don't want it, and dumps it in here.
FROGGY. Oh, yes.
I would guess that Shue wrote the dialogue this way in order to better emulate real conversation which is often peppered with overlapping interjections. As an actor, trying to memorize these interjections is difficult because they cannot be properly queued off of. This results in a tendency to jump lines and miss entire passages of actual conversation.

My own personal solution to this is to memorize my lines in blocks and to end each block at points where Froggy Leseur is supposed to fumble with interjections. Also, I've noticed that Shue tends to write his interjections in threes, which makes them a little easier to memorize.

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