ACC Presents: The Real Inspector Hound
This Thursday, September 27th, the drama department will begin performances of ‘The Real Inspector Hound’ by Tom Stoppard. The play will run from September 27th to October 7th.
What’s it about?
The Real Inspector Hound is about two drama critics, Moon and Birdboot, going to the theater to see a new thriller. Each is preoccupied with their professional status and personal dissatisfaction. The double-image technique of this play-within-a-play makes it theater with a complexity of feeling and level of achievement that is as exciting as it is rare.
Tell me more
Rehearsals for ‘The Real Inspector Hound’ started back in August and after speaking to the director, Ryan Williams, my interest for this piece of theatre has been piqued. I asked Ryan why he chose this specific play.
“I don’t remember where or when I found the script, but one day I pulled it off my shelf for some light-reading and found myself at the end of it confused but amused. I dunno- Maybe I just wanted people to be as confused or as amused as I was. It’s a mystery.”
Like most people that work hard to create something amazing, Williams is most proud of watching the cast grow together throughout rehearsals and developing their characters “really getting to where I want them.” The cast is truly his pride and joy throughout this process and they still “cease to amaze me.”
The one thing Williams hopes comes out of opening night is that nothing bad will happen. Keeping with the humorous space and feel of the play Williams said, “You wouldn’t believe how many times I said “Macbeth” this one time at rehearsals. I think the cast secretly hates me for it.”
What’s the cast saying?
Jade Williamson plays the actress playing “Cynthia” a distraught widow (play within a play remember?) and felt that while she’s the complete opposite of her character she was so much fun to play. In order to prepare for the role, Jade put herself in the mindset of a typical distraight widow.
“She is quite dramatic and often clueless of things right in front of her. I like to feel as though I’m lost and my coping methods are unhealthy amounts of bridge and a lover much younger than me.”
Andie Mau, who plays Felicity, also felt like she didn’t completely relate to her character “as the play makes her out to purposefully be an unrealistic and stereotypical character.” Felicity, despite the meaning of her name, spends most of the play being either sad or fearful. The actress playing felicity has had an affair with Birdboot which adds definite intensity and a bit more intrigue to an already intriguing plot. “That being said,” says Mau “ I feel like I’ve inserted my own humor into playing her, adding some of my own mannerisms I still think fit her character.”
Remy Joslin, acting Stage Manager, notes that many challenges have presented themselves. Challenges, that he believes, the cast and crew will learn from. Joslin manages not only himself and the rest of the technical crew but also the assistant stage manager and the lighting and sound board operator. He’s also in charge of notating blocking done by the actors. With all this resting on his shoulders he has felt that the overall experience has been unique “due to the space we were given to do this show. The Acting Studio is basically a rectangular classroom which we have transformed into a thrust theater (an area in which the audience views the performing area from three sides). We have 3 different lighting fixtures that light the space as well as a decent sized ‘living room’ that the actors perform in.”
Outside of space, casting for the show was also a challenge. “We held auditions early in the semester, before school had started. Because of this, many people who would normally come audition for ACC’s shows couldn’t because the process started so early. Also, all of the people in our show are full-time students and many of them hold jobs. There have been several times in which schooling/work/life has taken priority over this show (as it should). However, because of that we have lost necessary rehearsal time with several of our actors. Designers have also been set back because we didn’t have the people we needed for the show.”
Through this, both Joslin and director Ryan Williams have remained optimistic and hopeful,
“This has been a very good learning experience for me” says Joslin, “ and I hope my colleagues can say the same.”
ACC faculty, staff, students, and alumni will need to come check this play out to get the full experience of its intrigue and quirk and to pay respect to the cast and crew that painstakingly put it all together. The first showing opens this Thursday. For current season and ticket information check out the Drama Department Website.