What is TRUE WEST?
Sometimes your little brother just drives you absolutely insane, right? Or, if you don't have a little brother, you have that friend who is great and everything, but can totally make you want to throw things at them? Well, imagine that kind of relationship built up over 30 years or so, that's a lot of history, and now imagine that after a five year hiatus, they're stuck together in a room with nothing other than booze, burnt toast, and the sound of yapping coyotes to occupy their time. Chances are, things are going to get ugly. That's the situation at hand in Sam Shepard's True West, and "ugly" doesn't even begin to cover what is about to unfold...
"True West" by Sam Shepard in a Classic American Play that tells the story of two brothers living very different lives. As the play progresses, the upstanding screenplay writer and the nomadic thief attempt to live the other's life.
Why are we doing this?
I was keen to work on a project with actors where the principals of the Alexander Technique underpinned the rehearsal process and performances. The main principles of the Alexander Technique are to have fun, be free from unnecessary effort and tension, know how to bring your nervous system to quiet so you can then come to presence and connection, and understand how your instrument - body and voice work. If done well, this is how the actor can become a true story teller where they are listening to each other and including the audience in their expanded field of awareness.
It also gives the actors a need to develop the mental, physical and vocal stamina to perform a 1.5-hour play. It requires a lot of work and discipline to be truly alive in every moment, present and listening for the whole time, with a body and voice that is free of tension. We allowed a 6 month rehearsal period to develop these skills and I am delighted with the results. A daily discipline of Alexander Technique, movement and voice are fundamental for the actor to honour the writer and take the audience on an awesome journey. Sam and Jacob do just this and I am so proud of them.