Friday, 29 November 2013

CYAC: Advent Avenue ~

(CYAC dress up)

Phew! Almost the first weekend of December! After two weeks of daily five hour rehearsals, we are almost in the last stretch of rehearsal for our CYAC (contact young actor's company) and boy, are we excited!! 

Advent Avenue, directed by Contact Theatre's very own Paul Mayers, is about 
'Christmas Eve on Advent Avenue, and all of the children have been banished to the attic, where they gather amongst the spider-webs, boxes and broken TVs. It’s a place where their imagination can come alive, but someone is watching from the shadows. Tonight something is going to happen that will change everything...'

'In a performance that blurs the boundaries of the real and the imagined, Contact Young Actors Company will show you the secrets of Advent Avenue, from the awkward office party and the cosy family feast to a banging drunken brawl. Until, finally, the future of Christmas is revealed.' 

A predominately naturalistic performance,  Advent Avenue is, so far, an entirely new experience for me, providing me with such great acting skills! The whole show is entirely self devised and as there were no 'set characters' like there are in Commedia, I originally found this project to be very difficult. With only the poster and some very cryptic hints from Paul as to what our performance will include, we began to imagine what would happen onside the different buildings, how the relationships between the different characters function and from little snippets of scenes that we create, we can deduce the bigger picture of what life is like on Advent Avenue. Slowly but surely, we are starting to shape our characters, initially having only a few vague characteristics before moving on to figuring out why they have these character traits. Essentially? What makes these characters tick. 

My character, Ruth, is from the 'Big House'. She lives with her dad, mum and you get brother. She is roughly 14 years old in the play and is so far proving to be a very fun character to play. At first I was worried that I was just going to play myself as I felt that I didn't know who my character was. However, last week, something 'clicked', and I found a personality for her. She still shares some similarities with me, however it's by focussing on her differences and aims that I managed to finally cultivate this darker-than-I-could-have-imagined character. And I absolutely love the role! 

It is also very interesting to see how other people's characters and scenes are developing as having been there from the beginning of the process, to see the progress that everyone has made and how everyone is working together to create such truly wonderful pieces of theatre is just.... It is trip inspiring for me to be able to witness, and of course spurs me on to do even better. 

Once again, I am hit with an overwhelming realisation that every time I go into rehearsal, I am surrounded by such a wealth of raw theatrical talent, and I am thankful that I managed to be a part of this theatre troupe! It is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life this far and I find myself already worrying about how fast I seem to be going through the terms! 

And now, all I can say, is that I am so very excited for this show!!! Bring on Christmas!! 

(For more information and tickets, please go here: )


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