Saturday, June 7, 2008

Finding Lizzie: Connecting Past and Present

One of the unique elements of The Bluest Water is the fluid movement of time from present into past and back. Two of the characters, Emory, played by Casey Carden, and Liz, played by Sally Southall, have moments of meeting their younger selves, performed by Jared Anderson as young Emory and Natalie Caruncho, as young Lizzie. Not only is this an interesting dynamic to stage, as the characters pass each other or make eye contact to create that visual connection, but the intermingling of past and present opens up another, more intriguing convention --the characters watching themselves as memory, in a significant life event.

Natalie Caruncho as young Lizzie

So, the story is recreated not only for the audience, but for the character, whose memory is activated by a particularly vivid, significant event - Hurricane Camille. So, the performers merge past and the present images, reactions, emotions - just as we often recall and "watch" ourselves when younger, but we are now looking with older eyes at our younger selves. Young Emory and Lizzie live the moment while the older Emory and Liz sort out how these past events have brought them to their present lives.

Young Lizzie and Liz connect past and present

For the actors, this presents an exciting challenge - collaborating with each other to discover the character - exploring both his/her past and present, finding the character from two points of view, and creating the whole. The truly exhilarating part of performing is discovery - working with others to find that essence of character that becomes real, has life and truth, so that we all recognize parts of ourselves.

There is much to uncover in The Bluest Water - we continue to work, explore, and delve into the lives of each of the characters as they were affected by Hurricane Camille. The journey continues.....

Sally Southall
Endstation Blogger

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