Monday, October 17, 2011

Becoming Another

It's been about six months since I stepped on stage for the first time, which means it's about time for Norris Little Theatre to put on another production.

This time it's The Foreigner by Larry Shue.  According to some, it's a little...controversial.  There's a couple of bad guys, a stack of good guys, a couple of deliberate misdirections that run smack headlong into each other.  And that's where the excitement begins.

I read somewhere - darned if I can find it now, dangitall there's no browsing history in my head - that Shue came up with the idea for The Foreigner either as a result of or during a visit to Japan, where the very polite people regarded Shue's own inept handling of the culture shock with amusement and patience.  From such humble beginnings spring creativity's children.

Shall I tell you my character?  I can't see why not.  The play is out there, of course.  Shue, poor fellow, didn't live long enough to see it become the success that it was.  The Foreigner played Broadway for over 600 performances, but Shue had died by the time that run was over.

My character's name is Owen Musser.  He's a bad guy.  He knows he's a bad guy and is totally okay with it, because he's certain the conviction of his beliefs is right and good.  In one spot, Owen tells another character, "I can't see how you're plannin' to take anything over 'thout raisin' a little hell."  Owen is willing, maybe even eager, to be that hellraiser.  He's a bully, he's cheerfully hateful, he's threatening and overbearing.  And he is totally okay with it.

And I reach into myself, find every awful person who sat behind me and kicked my chair in French class, threw the dodgeball at my head in gym, even cut me off in traffic, and I have another piece of Owen to put in front of an audience.

How well will that work out?  We'll see.

Curtain goes up November 4, 5 and 6.

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