No strange interludes, please

I’ve seen a couple of plays lately – one a drama, one a comedy – where an actor suddenly moved downstage, faced the audience (and away from the person they were talking to), and delivered a “powerful moment.” Each time I cringed a bit, and I wanted to yell at them to get back upstage where they belonged, look the other actor in the eye, and deliver that moment to him, not us. Trust that the audience will get that it’s a powerful moment.

Do we walk away from people when we are telling them something painful or emotionally charged? Not very often, and usually only after we’ve said our piece and we’re heading out the door. The movement downstage screams “look at me acting!” and I believe it’s inappropriate unless you’re in a soap opera or about to burst into song.

Or possibly if you’re doing Eugene O’Neill (or Groucho Marx doing a parody of Eugene O’Neill):

Author: Tom Kephart

Actor, director, writer, theater instructor. Social media guy. Sings for beer in karaoke bars.