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It’s not a complaint, but, I die every time!

I’m talking about the characters I’m reading for in the developmental stage reading of “FRIAR LAZARO, or THE KING OF TERRORS“, written by Bridgette Portman. Another terrific reading hosted by the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco. Yep, second gig with them–I like em a lot! If you recall, I had an opportunity to work with them last week with Kirk Shimano’s “JAPANESE DEMONS AND HOW TO DATE THEM“…

This week, I was (UGH) a photoklutz again and didn’t take as many photos as I’d like!

Cast L-R: Richard Aiello, Kristine Reyes, Sheila Devitt, Ben Ortega, Josie Alvarez, Chris Morrell, Shane Rhoades, Tasi Alabastro (photo courtesy of Bridgette Portman)

This particular reading was especially wonderful and challenging because I had to play four characters (neophytes) that are killed during different times in the script. My experience with stage readings is quite bare (learning as I go) so I decided to ask around as to the proper way to approach having to play multiple characters, a couple of which have some dialogue with each other (first thing that came to mind: Smegol/Gollum, haha).

Because the characters were fairly brief with their appearances (few pages or so), I went the route of just having different tones (highs and lows) and cadences. Nothing too fancy, just enough to keep the story going without pulling too much attention—at least, that was my hope. I think the cast was neatly assembled. There were points in the evening when I ended up watching (with my ears) the story. Unlike last week’s reading, I knew a couple of the cast that were present: Shane Rhoades (whom I’ve shared the screen with in “BAD RECEPTION” and Kristine Reyes; She was in last week’s reading.

Here’s what the story of “FRIAR LAZARO, or THE KING OF TERRORS” is about:

“Set in a Spanish mission in 19th-century California, Friar Lazaro tells the story of a young padre whose religious doubts lead him to madness and murder. Lazaro, tormented by the possibility that that nothing lies beyond death, begins to murder ill Indians in order to witness their dying visions. Unsatisfied, he turns on the other inhabitants of the mission, including the Indian woman he once loved. Can anyone stop “the King of Terrors” before it is too late?”

And about Bridgette Portman:

Bridgette Portman joined PCSF in Fall 2009. Her first full-length play, “The Widow of Sisyphus,” received a staged reading through PCSF in Spring 2010 and was a finalist in the 2011 O’Neill Playwrights Conference. A full-length comedy, “La Fee Verte,” received a developmental reading in Fall 2010. Her short comedies “Necromance” and “Support Group for the Mortally Challenged” have been staged by PianoFight Productions in San Francisco and Shelterbelt Theatre in Omaha, NE, respectively. Recently, her short piece “Paul der Krake” was featured in PCSF’s Sheherezade festival.”

This week was no different than last week when it came to snacks! Except, last week I was being an uber photoklutz and didn’t bother to take any photos…but, I’ve redeemed myself, behold!

Wine, cheese, and chips. Essential thespian spread!

Oh, and sweets!

I sampled everything on the table, minus the wine—I do my best to avoid having alcohol in my system when it comes to working (film/theatre).

Outside of the ridiculous commute that I have to go through post-show, I gotta say, these readings are starting to grow on me. I like being exposed to these types of things–meeting new people and massaging other aspects of the craft. And hey, did I mention they spelled my last name correctly this time. I didn’t even have to ask!


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