Saturday, January 18, 2014

PATP: The Virgin and the Veteran

This weekend's cast features two recent PATP, UW graduates - Scott Ward Abernethy (virgin actor) and Marianna de Fazio (veteran actor).

We saw Scott as Francis - a patient recovering from serious war time trauma, mumbling "Lights Out", in Zoe Fitzgerald's Good Night. Tonight, he's cast opposite Danielle Daggerty in the evening's only two hander - Courtney Meaker's Shorty Says Goodbye

Marianna played the half "feeble", half scheming sister in Erin Stewart's Mr. and Mrs. Hargrove on Friday, surprising and awing the audience with her subtle but crisp transformation from the 'feeble' to the 'scheming'. Tonight, she features in No Apologies by Jennifer Jasper, who had one of the most poignant plays of Friday night.

Over lunch, yours truly caught up with these two.

AK: Even as a virgin actor, you must have come in with an impression of what 14/48 will be like. How accurate was it? How prepared (or not) did you feel?

Marianna and Scott right after lunch
Photo: Agastya Kohli
Scott: Actually, I organized a speed theatre festival in undergrad, and so I was very familiar with the basic structure.

AK: And as a veteran, was there something that still surprised you Marianna?

Marianna: My last 14/48 was outdoors... so the venue makes a huge difference. Indoors is quite different - easier and more focused. Other than that, this 14/48 has move along similar lines as the last one.

Scott: The biggest surprise really, is the realization of how random things can be. Yesterday, I was a part of a serious piece - not funny or rambunctious at at all.  And I had just three lines. Today, I'm in a two-hander, with sword fights, and eight different dialects, and all kinds of physical acting. The other big surprise was how many people in the theatre community I don't really know. I've been working in Seattle right after I graduated from PATP, but I walked into the room and at best, maybe I knew a quarter of the people.

Marianna: And what a great gift it is to the community that 14/48 provides. Allowing people from different 'circles' within the theatre community to overlap and interact with one another, building connections and fostering relationships.

AK: Would you be interested in returning as a part of any of the other 14/48 disciplines?

Scott: Yes! I would be very interested in writing and directing. And I'm very interested in Musical 14/48 too!

AK: Has the process on Saturday been different from what it was like on Friday?

Scott: Well, the play I'm in today is very different. Yesterday, I had three lines to learn, so I had a lot of free time to work on making my character as fun and interesting as I could make it. Today is a very different day just in terms of the size of the role and what is required.

Marianna: Working with a different director changes the process a little. Yesterday we worked on the piece with relatively small breaks. Today we're pacing ourselves a lot better. Taking time off to learn lines, and regathering periodically to work on the piece together. Today feels a lot more relaxed than yesterday, with the comfort of experience under our belts.

AK: What's next for you two?

Scott: I'll be doing King Lear with Seattle Shakes.

Marianna: And I'm doing Diana of Dobson’s at Taproot Theatre.

AK: Break a leg!

Disclaimer - These conversations were not recorded. The interviews above are paraphrased. But I hope I've captured the essence of what these artists wanted to share with all of you.

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