In the 1890s, the Moscow Art Theatre started a movement that transformed theatre into the art form we know today. Founded by the great Konstantin Stanislavski (credited for the acting technique most used in modern performance), Vladimir Nemorich-Danchenko (director/producer), and the genius playwright Anton Chekhov. Certainly not the first to use this model, these three assembled a group of legendary theatre artists who presented groundbreaking productions.
Some of the benefits of having an acting company include: 1) a common artistic language, 2) training in the same acting technique, 3) a shared work ethic and approach to theatre, and 4) personal investments in the group.
There have been many acting companies, before and since, that have earned their place in history. In fact, this is the same concept that was used by the studio system in motion pictures from the 1920s to the 1960s. One example that combines theatre and film, which I find particularly inspiring, is the Mercury Theatre, founded in 1937 by Orson Welles and John Housman in New York.
To this day, Citizen Kane is credited as the best film ever made. The acting is considered superb! The actors were required not only to create interesting characters, but to play the characters over a period of 30 years. How was it cast? Director/Actor Orson Welles cast his first film with actors from the Mercury Theatre. These actors, who had created their team and perfected their crafts through ensemble theatre work in New York, simply moved to Hollywood and gave unforgettable performances in their first film.
For the past four years, I have selected plays that I wanted to produce, for various reasons – and then set out to cast those plays. Under our new model, Culture Collective Studio has created a resident acting company – a group of actors that continuously train and rehearse together. Now, the plays are selected specifically for this group; plays that the group finds challenging and entertaining. Not all actors appear in every play, which gives us more lead time to prepare for upcoming plays. Most important, this model allows us to produce more plays. I know… What was I thinking before? Anyway, we organized in May and began training, selecting plays, and rehearsing. Our plan is to relaunch Culture Collective Studio in September 2019.
This international team is impressive. I am particularly excited by their talent and their commitment. There is no question that we are onto something special. With an unwavering focus on acting and character development, we have scheduled four plays before the end of 2019. Our audiences may be unfamiliar with many of the titles, however, we guarantee stories that you will find both compelling and intriguing. Stay tuned for the listings, but for sure, you will see our new company which includes (in alphabetical order): Duncan Allan (South Africa), Phil Blaze (Switzerland), Pope Bustos (Argentina), Matas Danielius (Lithuania), Daryel Jarmon (USA) Claudia Liu (China) Lilly Olsson (Thailand), Clement Phanavanh (France), and Page Ploy (Thailand).
“When fishermen cannot go to sea, they repair nets.”Nabil Sabio Azadi
Photo Credit : © JOEY GUIDONE