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The Joy of Discovery

Hey everybody! My name is Alex Weiss. I’ve been doing theater (or otherwise performing) for most of my life, but “She Stoops to Conquer” is my first production at Pigeon Creek! For my blog, I’d like to talk about one of my favorite parts of acting: “discovery”. The process of discovery is something that everyone experiences when they’re preparing for a show, and this show is no exception!

When you’re given a character and a script, you’re given an opportunity to create something brand new. There are some roles that may have expectations (your Hamlets, your Scottish kings, etc), but as an actor, it’s my job to play around with different things in order to find the version of the character that I like best, and that I want to portray to the audience! Discovery.

“She Stoops” is no exception, and as a cast/crew, we still have plenty of discoveries to make before we begin performing on February 14th! The show tells a love story. It’s a comedic show that deals with miscommunication and social awkwardness… in a way that still resonates with audiences to this day. In the middle of this love story is a humble family servant, “Diggory” (that’s me). My character Diggory is dutiful, goofy and quite talkative.

It was a unique experience to read as Diggory for the first time because the language in this show is a bit heavier than most contemporary plays. I had a hard time understanding what some of my lines meant, and how I should say them. Luckily, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a very talented and knowledgeable cast of Shakespearean actors to help me out! Once I gained an understanding of the lines, I began to play around with my voice. Does this man have an accent? How could I say this line to make it funny? Next I began moving my body in ways that could reveal the character even more. Does Diggory wander, or does he move straight from point A to point B? Does he stand straight or slouch? All of these decisions help to craft the character that I want the audience to see, and this thrills me!

Even now, I’m not quite sure exactly which version of Diggory audiences will be meeting in a couple weeks, but I know I will find him either during rehearsal, in a suggestion from a fellow cast member, or maybe even in the shower. I’m always looking for the next discovery, and I hope the discover you sitting in the audience for “She Stoops to Conquer” between February 14th-16th!

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