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Interview with Wynn Alexander About the Spring Production of Early Dark

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Wynn Alexander, Theatre and Fine Arts

Q: What made you want to do this play?

A: I’ve known about this play for a long time and always wanted to do it. I think it’s full of characters that relate to college students. Going through family issues, friendships, peer pressure, death, everything.

Q: How do you come up with different workshops during auditions?

A: Every play is different. I want to get people comfortable enough to be more creative but still competitive. I want to design [the Wilmington College production] around how the play is set up. I sometimes throw in challenges just so I can see the actors improve. What does the play call for? You want to see those big bold characters come out of people. You have to know what the history, the style and the character development.

Q: Audience always take away something from a performance, what do you think they’ll learn from this?

A: Multiple things. They’ll see themselves in some of the characters. They’ll find one or more things that represent their experiences. I hope they see that everyone makes tough decisions. What is important to ask yourself is, are you going to let others make your decisions or are you going to make them yourself? It’s not about them, it’s about you.

Q: Does this play have a sort of significance? What makes it different?

A: It’s a southern fiction, also called a southern gothic. It’s about the hard ways of life for those who live in the south, and also includes romance. It’s sort of like Harper Lee in a way.

Q: What are the plans for actor development?

A: Each actor is going to want something different in this play. It’s a poetic slang, based in the 50’s with a North Carolina accent. It’s very layered and that’s what makes it perfect for actors. They’ll have to know what their characters want throughout the play. It’s going to take a lot of work. Actors are going to need to be comfortable enough to try new things, not make it over dramatic and make it feel very natural. They have to get used to the settings and the rhythms of the south. I want them to have a great joy of accomplishment by allowing themselves to reveal emotions through character development and not coming off as fake.

Q: What do you do when handling new actors that aren’t really used to performing on stage?

A: I want to communicate with each actor. Learn what works differently for everyone and deal with them differently. How to help, what to know about them. It’s important to know that acting is about speaking, but also about action. What action is going to help the audience understand what they’re trying to say or do.

I want to communicate with each actor. Learn what works differently for everyone and deal with them differently.” – Wynn Alexander



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