BWW Blog: Meet Adam Lendermon of Maltz Jupiter's A CHORUS LINE
A Chorus Line (or #discopartyrealness)
When I was asked to embark on my 5th journey "on the line", I knew my greatest challenge would be shedding any ideas of past productions. As performers we strive (I hope) to be malleable artists that can mold characters and relationships based on our fellow actors and the vision of the director/choreographer to create something that is unique to this particular experience. That is, after all, one of the joys of Live Theatre, isn't it? Every night you create something absolutely singular (pun intended) that can never be duplicated. A Chorus Line is such an iconic show that we often become locked into stock ideas of who these dancers are. As a director, how do you encourage your actors to abandon these stereotypes and embody something that is true both to themselves and the material? The answer is obvious: throw a disco party
Surely I jest? I do not. Here at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, Florida, we begin every rehearsal with a thirty-minute disco party in the rehearsal space. We turn the lights off, the music on, and we hustle and boogie our way to...what? I admit that when I was informed of this on the first day of rehearsal, I had my reservations and probably definitely rolled my eyes at least once in private. I'm one of the older cast members (When did this happen?!) and it smelled faintly of theatre games, rainbows, and giggles. I awkwardly step touched like it was middle school déjà vu on the first day. Now almost a week in, I have to admit my mind has been changed. I've slowly peeled off my Catholic school uniform to reveal my gold lamé jumpsuit. Cliché as it may be, I've watched our cast bond over these parties. We dance around the room, acting like fools. Some people take the occasional opportunity to show of their street cred (I can't even type that with a straight face), while others bounce themselves into near cardiac arrest. The result? We are creating a community, a community of dancers who are able to let their guard down and look foolish in front of one another.
So much of the show is about these dancers shedding their armor and being able to talk about things personal, painful, and joyful in a setting that is generally very formal. Not to mention the beast that is the "Montage", where a great deal of the number is spent bopping, pulsing, and grooving as a group with a guitar part that only the 70s could claim. They say art imitates life. So if we create in our lives what we want to see in our art, the lines become blurred. What started out as an eye roll turned into a head roll with a well-timed hip pop. Maybe tomorrow I'll wear an afro and roller skates.
I'll be here at broadwayworld.com the entire month sharing more installments about my journey with this production. Follow me "on the line"!
From This Author Guest Blogger: Adam Lendermon