Students Prepare for Roles in ‘The Seagull’

Actors Meagan Moser and Joshua Meltzer

Actors Meagan Moser and Joshua Meltzer

By Richie Frazier

Students prepare for BackStage Theatre’s debut of the production “The Seagull” by getting into character using method acting.

The play written in 1895 by Anton Chekhov, the Russian dramatist, is hailed as his best play inspired by a real-life incident he had witnessing the death of a seagull. An ensemble cast of students will honor Chekhov as the show opens on Cheyenne campus Nov. 14. The cast will perform seven shows through November.

Blinding lights, remembering lines, a crowd watching his or her every move, these are just some of the things an actor experiences when he or she goes on a stage to perform. To prepare for that many students use method acting to help them become one with their characters so they don’t succumb to pressures on stage.

“The Method trains actors to use their imagination, senses and emotions to conceive of characters with unique and original behavior, creating performances grounded in the human truth of the moment,” according to The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute’s website.

Patricia Lusk, theater professor at College of Southern Nevada, suggests students get to know their characters backstory.

“Learn all the things about the character: their age, sex, background history,” Lusk said. “You must find a way for you to relate to the character.” She suggests actors learn to love their characters because they will figuratively become those people during show time.

“I walk around the house walking and talking like [my] character,” said Aubrey Williams, CSN student who is in the show. She uses a specific accent, certain words and way of being that make her feel truly connected to her character. She becomes that person. Though Williams works to know her character, sometimes she needs to take a break from it.

Alexa Josey, CSN student who is in the show, makes CDs to listen to that her character would have made. “The songs help create the character for me.” Josey uses method acting to craft her role. “If you want the character to have absolute perfection, you should.”

“If you are doing method acting, it is the best way to maintain focus,” said Meagan Moser, a CSN student in the show.

In contrast, Joshua Meltzer, a CSN student who is in the show, doesn’t use method acting every time he acts. “Method acting is a very solitary method,” he said. “It is not something I suggest in every theater setting.”

To see Williams, Josey, Moser and Meltzer in CSN’s production of “The Seagull” come to the BackStage Theatre Nov. 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 at 7 p.m. or Nov. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. Students can attend for $10.

Director Sarah O'Connell

Director Sarah O’Connell

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