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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Come Explore Your Dark Side at Assassins Auditions

In Assassins, Stephen Sondheim delves into the minds of the nine men and women who have attempted to assassinate the President of the United States. The show uses the premise of a murderous carnival game to produce a revue-style portrayal of these assassins while also analyzing the promise and failure of the American Dream.  Auditions are this Sunday November 10th @ 1PM (Registration 12:30PM) at the Farmington Players Barn Theater (with possible call-backs on Monday November 11th @7PM).  See full details in the casting notice at: http://www.farmingtonplayers.org/documents/Castingnotice_v3_WEB.PDF and musical cuts on the homepage at http://www.farmingtonplayers.org/

As Director Michael Smith says, "Besides the challenges of singing Sondheim, Assassins provides a unique opportunity for an actor to play a dramatic historical character. I want to help each actor to develop living, breathing personas of iconic villains from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald and we've pulled together a crack team of production personnel to make that happen."

So, what makes a good bad guy?  In her online essay, The Art of Playing a Villain, Astra Poyser provides some great insights:

“The truth is, maybe we're not so different from the ‘bad guys’ after all. And that's really what makes a good villain -- someone you can relate to -- someone whose motives you understand. I can't stand the ‘oh, he's insane and chaotically evil’ excuse; madness is rarely played realistically, and too often it just seems like a justification for whatever behavior appeals to a player at a given moment. Villains have their reasons for doing what they do, and many of them may not even think of themselves as ‘villainous.’  Villains have their own dreams and ambitions; their problem is that they don't give much thought to who they have to trample on to get there. They're selfish that way, but some of them have redeeming qualities, as well. And that is another key to playing a well-rounded, interesting, multi-faceted character. Don't make 'em just purely evil -- throw a little light into the shadows.  They may have their own code of morals, skewed as they are. They may have honor and integrity -- just not when it comes to the "right" issues. They may be capable of great love and compassion -- but just not for people as a whole. And it's the little things, really, that set a good villain apart from all those cardboard cutouts that seem to exist merely to twist their mustaches and mutter, ‘Coises, foiled again!’  Give your villain depth, and vulnerability, and aspirations, and charisma -- give him a *personality*. You may find that the experience is more rewarding than you imagined.”  (Excerpts above;  for full article, go to http://www.topmudsites.com/article05.shtml)

The real life assassins (and their intended targets) are:

·       John Wilkes Booth: (President Abraham Lincoln)
·       Charles Guiteau: (President James Garfield)
·       Leon Czolgosz: (President William McKinley)
·       Giuseppe Zangara: (President-elect Franklin Roosevelt)
·       Lee Harvey Oswald: (President John F. Kennedy)
·       Samuel Byck: (President Richard Nixon)
·       John Hinckley: (President Ronald Reagan)
·       Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme: (President Gerald Ford)
·       Sara Jane Moore: (President Gerald Ford)

The Farmington Players' production of Assassins is proudly sponsored by Center for Financial Planning, Inc.  The show runs February 14 through March 1, 2014. Tickets can be purchased online at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling the box office at 248-553-2955.

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