In-sight Brings Physical Theater Experience to PSC

April 17th, 2003 by Adam

“Theatre that affects the heart, rather than the mind.” That’s what audiences can expect from In-sight, says Director C. Robin Marcotte ’00. Presented April 24 – 26 by the Plymouth State College Department of Music, Theatre and Dance in the Studio Theatre at the Silver Cultural Arts Center, In-sight is a physical theatre production featuring the actor as creator, looking “to do the extraordinary with the ordinary.”

In-sight evolved from an idea to an actual performance in just four weeks. The seven-member ensemble cast began the process of developing the production by generating new material and creating image-oriented ideas. Themes for creative development of the piece are fate, hope, control and prophecy. “Asking how you control prophecy, what is hope versus fate, and is hope a form of control,” is the theory behind the piece says Marcotte. From these concepts the actors began stringing the emerging themes together, expressing their points of view and finalizing the story to be told through the performance.

Marcotte asks the audience to “come with an open mind.” The story will unfold through trapeze work, dance, song and acrobatics. “Everyone will get something different out of the performance,” says Marcotte. There will be a talk-back with the audience following each performance.

Performances are 7 p.m. on April 24 – 25 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on April 26. Ticket prices are $12 to $5. For more information contact the box office at (603) 535-ARTS.

Alumnus Returns to PSC to Share Experience

For Marcotte, the chance to return to Plymouth State to direct a physical theatre piece has been very rewarding. A veteran of the PSC stage, many will recognize Marcotte from ETC’s production of the Wizard of Oz in which he played the Scarecrow. Following his graduation in 2000, Marcotte attended the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Dell’Arte is a 30-week theatre training program that “centers on the creative actor’s imaginative command of space, gesture, dynamics and articulate body/voice that gives expression to passions, ideas, feelings and relationships.”

Working on In-sight with the cast of six students and Elizabeth Cox, assistant professor of music and Theatre, has given Marcotte the opportunity to provide them with experience in physical theatre. Marcotte believes it is important for students to have a good grasp of physical theatre because it is “popping up more and more.”

“The actor has to be comfortable with not knowing the outcome at the beginning,” says Marcotte. “The process, not the product is the goal. It is completely non-traditional theatre, and the actor has to be free and willing to accept new things — to be committed to the process of creating.”

There is also a great deal of physical conditioning involved. The actors have to have a complete understanding of their body in space, and how to control it, in order to create the character. While costumes are used in the production, Marcotte says, “Costumes do not create the character, but bring out the character. Costumes give the actors permission to go further into the character, to push themselves.”

With the performance just over a week away, Marcotte says his biggest reward is seeing the actors’ growth and artistry coming from something they didn’t even know existed three weeks ago. He says, “They have had trust in the process.”