“I am Professor Antlerwhistle and this is stick!” said Professor David McGinnis, director of the University play The Coarse Acting Show.
A silence ensued while the audience gazed upon the spotlighted yardstick in Professor McGinnis’s up-held hand. The scene mocked Simba from The Lion King when the cub was being held up in front of the Pride Lands.
The Coarse Acting Show by Michael Greenoffers instructions and a taste of what coarse acting is about and how to perform it. The performers made the silly-written show into a hilarious time had by both the cast and the actors.
“I think that this play takes a different approach on comedy, meaning rather than the actor being funny in character, the actor was encouraged to break character and make the scene funny by doing the exact opposite of what a good actor would do,” said Sophomore Jimmy Simeon.
The play was a composite of four separate plays. Each play had a new spin on the original along with humor that only coarse acting could do. Every segment was filled with new twists and random turns. Each of the plays was a mock version of some very well-known tales from Shakespeare to Herman Melville.
One minute the audience would be watching a battle ensuing in England, and then the White Whale would enter on stage leaving the audience in tears from laughter. The play was great fun for the audience, but it was not all games for the actors and crew to pull together.
McGinnis said that what made the show work with the silliness was “Control, as hard as that may be to believe. Humor like this has to dance on the edge without losing balance. Any hack can get up in front of people and act silly. It takes craft to seem silly while maintaining control.”
This control is in thanks to the team effort from both the backstage crew and the actors. In every performance the duties are to deliver the same silly and messy results every time so that the point is understood simply and clearly by the audience.
The audience is another crucial point in determining the direction of a play. The audience determines on the mood and flow of the play through the level of interaction. During certain times the director, in character as Professor Antlerwhistle, would have audience members come onto the stage to teach them a few methods in coarse acting. Each method taught to the audience would be see time and again in the play, and it would make each instance funnier. The audience shared an understanding of each coarse move
As the cast emphasized throughout the play, remember “all pain is felt through the stomach!”