Shows, Taphouse

Chekhov and Corrine are NOT friends

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Taphouse rehearsals are going amazingly well, thank you for asking! …or so I am told. As your fearless Dramablogger, I asked cast member Corrine Roberts to talk a little bit about the process. Thus providing us with the insider scoop, and me with an easy out. Two birds…?

Corrine has been with Taphouse for several years now as an actor, collaborator, and friend of the playwright. She performed in two separate public readings at Theatre Battery and the Pocket Theatre since 2013 and has been an instrumental figure in the development of the text, lending her voice and insight to… well, let Corrine (Corey?) tell you about it:

Corinne Marie“First of all, Chekhov and I are not friends. I don’t find the playwright to be funny at all. Personally, I just can’t understand his humor. I earned a C for my performance as Nina from The Seagull in drama class at Western…right…”I am a Seagull! No, I am an actress!” I laugh at that line alone from sheer embarrassment…oh wait…maybe I understand Chekhov’s humor after all! F^!k Chekhov…no offense!

A little bit about myself as a functioning human being and an actress…I graduated from Western in 2012…since then I have travelled the world, I have performed in a hand full of shows, but for the majority of my time… I have been establishing myself as a struggling young adult. Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t trade my life experiences or relationships for anything. For the first time in my life, I’m allowing myself to just…live. Naturally, there will always be that little voice inside saying, “You are lost.” …Am I, though? My mantra: I can never escape my heart, so I better listen to what it has to say (Thanks, Paulo Coehlo.) Taphouse will be the first show since my decision to take a year hiatus from theatre. Why the hiatus? So I could hone my energy towards bartending and save money with the hopes of moving to California…one day.

“Aspiring actress for one, please.”

I had the pleasure of participating in a stage reading of Taphouse last July as it was still in development. Reading through it for the first time was not only delightful, but full of surprises as well. I wasn’t prepared for what was coming next. Emmaline, the youngest of the Collins, has a monologue where she is picking away at memories. This builds into a much larger arc of how she ultimately views herself. Reading Emmaline’s words OUT LOUD TO MYSELF AND EVERYONE PRESENT FOR THE FIRST TIME was overwhelming. I felt anger and sadness. Simultaneously, I felt all the relief and happiness in the world! At this point, I was drowning in my own tears. Dear Playwright, how the hell did you know at that exact moment what I had been struggling through my entire life? How I am fighting change? How I feel alone? How I am trying to love myself? How I am trying to find out who I am?

“Are you reading my mind? No. Somehow…you just get it.”

During the stage reading process, the ensemble formed relationships within a very limited physical space. We only had our energy, intentions, verbal and facial expressions, and our postures to create moments behind those music stands. Talk about giving words a new sense of life. Now that the play is being realized through the tremendous efforts of Copious Love Productions, it’s thrilling to see the script being played within a larger container. Take all the theatrical elements I listed before and now add physical and special awareness to the pot. What’s the best part of this new process I’m involved in? There will be more time for the actors to live in the text…and then Taphouse will finally become a living-breathing organism (MUAH AH AH!!). Much to my own happiness, I’ll be reprising the role of Emmaline with CLP. My challenge (or reward) will be to evolve the first intimate and vulnerable moment I had with her words from the stage reading…cause let’s face it, I am Emmaline, and so acting ‘me’ on stage will be interesting. HA!

“Take a deep breath. Are you still alive? That’s all that matters.”

Drink on this…Live in the moment, and make sure to play with people who have your back (Thanks, Amy Poehler). Our playwright, Kiki Penoyer, adapted her play from Chekhov’s “The Three Sisters” and has spent years developing the script into what it is today. Her story is truly an ensemble piece, and not one character is more important than the other. This, I love. All walks of life are vital to one another within this small grey community of grey people…on the contrary; they’re all quite colorful humans. It’s not everyday that a young playwright introduces a script to a company containing many gifts. No other play has rung more true to me than Taphouse. I have said just about every line in the show sometime in my life, and I have only lived a mere twenty-five years. That being said, think about how this show will affect others who have lived longer!

“Every age. Every stage. Every day…”- Cetaphil (hahahahahahahahaha!)

Lastly, Kiki and I are friends. I find her to be highly intelligent, extremely caring, and her no-bull shit attitude is very meaningful to me. Personally, I believe Kiki is a hundred years old trapped in a young woman’s body. One of my favorite scenes in my theatrical career was to play the Nurse to her Juliet at Western, after much-heated persuasion to our professor. Our choice to switch roles totally contradicts our ‘cast-types’ to begin with…but we decided to risk it all…and we earned an A. I admire Kiki…all the offense!”

Isn’t Corrine great?

Za vas!