It was a day of workshops and fun stuff at the William Inge Festival on Thursday. I spent the morning in a discussion on Arthur Kopit’s new play BecauseHeCan which led to some interesting perspectives on privacy and what we think of as reality in an connected world.
That was followed by a workshop for high school students in monologues and audition techniques led by John Schuck. For those of you too young to remember the Painless Pole from the 1970 film of M*A*S*H, you’ll recognize him from numerous appearances on TV including Law & Order SVU and national tours of the musical Annie playing the role of Daddy Warbucks. He is a gentle and encouraging teacher for the students, and they had a great time.
After lunch I sat in on a musical theatre workshop with Barry Bostwick. This too was geared to high school students — one of the Inge Festival’s best aspects is its outreach to young theatre students — and it was both entertaining and educational. (But no, he didn’t sing anything from Rocky Horror.)
That was followed by an energetic acting workshop with George West Carruth, one of the guest actors who performed in BecauseHeCan. For me it was like going back to my undergrad acting classes. I’m sure I’ll be a little sore this morning.
Last night we saw a staged reading of the first draft of Mat Smart’s play The Great Barrier. Mat is the Otis Guernsey New Voices award winner this year. It is a recognition of promising playwrights, and so far it’s proved to be prescient: past winners include Joe DiPietro, who won the Tony for Memphis.
Today we will continue with the Conversation with Arthur Kopit. Then tonight is the Gala dinner. Yes, I brought along a coat and tie.