While this is not my first experience with Theatre Westminster, it has definitely been the most extensive. The Walls is no 10-minute play festival. The script has given me the most lines of my theater career so far. Beyond sheer length, The Walls is also completely new to me when it comes to subject manner.
Being a member of my high school’s drama club for three years, I am no stranger to sarcastic, comedic, and down-right silly characters. I have performed both raps and the chicken dance on stage in front of an audience. These roles have all come easily, comfortably, and naturally to me. Even my first performance with Theatre Westminster, Amanda in Short Memory, was lighthearted if not a little ditzy. However, 1920’s housewife, Alice Chudmann (my character in The Walls) is an emotional heavyweight. Becoming involved with The Walls has thrown me into unfamiliar territory. While Alice does have some lines that allow my inner snarkiness through which I thoroughly enjoy, I owe it to her (and the real life women like her) to portray her as the tragedy she is.
It is my difficulty and pleasure to get in touch with a side of me I usually do not show in real life, let alone on stage in front of an audience. The fear, sadness, and confusion are some of the hardest emotions I have to portray. Playing Alice is my first major step away from my high school roles and is the beginning of the transition into my college acting career, so it’s understandable that it’s difficult. Still I believe, with the help and guidance of all those involved in this production including a great director, by show time I will have come to an understanding of my character and do her justice, the justice that her time period and gender never afforded her.