Thursday, March 30, 2017

Caeneus & Poseidon: An Interview With Michael Wayne Rice

Next up in our series of interviews we feature Michael Wayne Rice, who plays Poseidon and shared with us a bit about himself and his acting. Thanks Michael!

Michael Wayne Rice as Poseidon. Photo by Scott Ragle.
Which character do you play?
I play Poseidon.

What are you most looking forward to about playing this character? Is there anything that is particularly challenging about playing this character?
This character is challenging because he is a "god" that abuses his powers, especially in regards to his relationships with women. He can easily be played as a character that is un-relatable and thus totally closed off to audience connection. If an audience cannot connect, on some level to a character, they will write him off. They won't care. And if that happens, that kills the play because Poseidon then losses his power in his role of helping to establish the plight that Caeneus is in.

Have you been involved with Dragon Theatre before? How?
Yes. I acted in a play called "OR" for Dragon Theatre.

What other theatre projects do you have coming up?
I will be going up to Washington State to be in a Shakespeare Festival this summer, 2017.

How do you prepare for a role? Is there anything special you do to get into the mindset of a character you're playing?
Rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal. I love being in rehearsal. It gives me an opportunity to play. Play with choices, play with scene partners, and play with relationship. I do a lot of text analysis, looking for clues to characterization. I read about Poseidon. I made a lot of bad choices (but that is part of the process for defining character). I explored the major themes for my character, trying to figure out why he was how he was.

What is your dream role?
My dream role is always the current role I am playing. I have very little power in the casting process. Getting cast is not as simple as giving a good audition. There are many factors that go into casting an actor in which an actor will never be privy. I can have a dream role, or I can make my current role my dream role. A bird in the hand (current role) beats two in the bush (dream role). Consequently I am always playing my dream role. Can you say cake, and eating it too?

Who’s your favorite mythological character? (doesn’t have to be Greek)
Since mythological is not defined here and can be interpreted in many ways, let me first lay down, as a foundation, a definition I found for mythos, before revealing my answer. "Mythos: the underlying system of beliefs, especially those dealing with supernatural forces, characteristic of a particular cultural group." Answer: Jesus.

Anything else you'd like to share with us?
If you watched the show, I thank you for being a patron of the arts. We need you more than ever. Not in a desperate and needy way. More like as allies against a society that is scared to stand up against the ills of society. We artists garner more strength when we have a true connection to audience. And audience members prove warriors for the arts because you have the strength, determination and fortitude to deal with issues that may come up in an artistic presentation. I appreciate you.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Caeneus & Poseidon: An Interview With Regina Kohl

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Regina, who plays one of our Nereids, shares a bit about herself in the next of our interviews. Thanks so much, Regina!
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Which character do you play?
I am playing one of the Nereids.

What are you most looking forward to about playing this character? Is there anything that is particularly challenging about playing this character?
I found the process of forging out my character interesting. The script is written in such a way that the Nereids’ lines can be said either simultaneously or in turn. We decided to split some of the lines between the three actresses who play the Nereids, thereby establishing three independent characters. It was interesting to see how these characters took shape and how different they turned out to be in the end. This also gave me a chance to find my character’s story within the text and show how she transitions from a person who is completely dependent on Poseidon to someone who stands up for herself and others, and frees herself from the shackles of dependency and physical violence. I am looking forward to telling her story to the audience.

Have you been involved with Dragon Theatre before? How?
This is the first production at the Dragon Theatre I am involved with, and I am very excited about this opportunity.

What other theatre projects do you have coming up?
I was cast in the role of Polonius in ‘Hamlet’ produced by Silicon Valley Shakespeare, and will be performing at Sanborn-Skyline County Park from late July onwards.

How do you prepare for a role? Is there anything special you do to get into the mindset of a character you're playing? 
First of all, I do a lot of text work. What information about the character can I find in the text? What do I say about myself? What do others say about me? I ask the obvious questions, like who am I? where am I? what and who surrounds me? etc. I break the text down in units and try to find out what my objectives are, what are the obstacles that prevent me from achieving my objectives? How do I try to achieve my objectives? I find such a detailed analysis of the text very useful.

I also tend to get off book really quickly, so that I can explore how the character moves without being hindered by the textbook in front of my face during rehearsals.
In general, I do a lot of research into the background story (era of a play, historical facts etc). When I am exploring a character I also think about people I know or knew who might have elements in their characters I can use. I also look into myself and see what experience can help me form my character. I also love watching and observing people. There are always certain characteristics, habits, traits you can use for certain roles.

What is your dream role?
I have quite a few and am constantly adding new ones to my list. Some roles I would love to play are Richard III, Lady Macbeth, Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart ...

Who’s your favorite mythological character? (doesn’t have to be Greek)
I have to admit that I don’t really have a favorite mythological character.

Anything else you'd like to share with us?
I am very excited about being part of this show. The script is marvelous and I can share the stage with very talented actors and actresses. This is a story worth telling and I hope we’ll be doing it justice.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Caeneus & Poseidon: Meet Poseidon

The Greek god Poseidon was known as Neptune in the Roman pantheon. A son of Kronos and Rhea, as one of the greater gods Poseidon was king of the sea, creator of earthquakes, floods, drought, and horses. He's generally depicted as holding a three pronged trident and is often shown riding in a horse drawn chariot.



Poseidon had five other siblings: Zeus, Hades, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia. Poseidon eventually married the marine goddess Amphitrite, and together they had the fish-tailed god Triton.

Poseidon was generally portrayed as one of the most mercurial of the gods. One would assume that might reflect the mercurial nature of the ocean. He generally didn't get along with his siblings, Zeus in particular, who was generally considered the most powerful of the gods. He was also jealous of Athena, who bested him in a contest to become the patron god of the city now called Athens. The gods were asked to show their power. Poseidon wanted to show his benevolence so he struck the Acropolis and up sprang a salt water stream. Athena, however, created an olive tree, which was much more useful and therefore she won the right to become the patron god of Athens.

Poseidon often had a retinue of Nereids, the fifty daughters of Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea. They were water nymphs who often appeared to help stranded sailors. The best known Nereid is Thetis, the mother of Achilles.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Caeneus & Poseidon: An Interview With Mylissa Malley


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Mylissa Malley, who plays one of our sea nymphs, tells us about herself and her process as an actor in our next interview. Thanks Mylissa!

Which character do you play?
One of the Nerieds, as recently named by myself, Omi.

What are you most looking forward to about playing this character? Is there anything that is particularly challenging about playing this character?
This is my first time playing a character who really only cares about herself, and what benefits and pleases her. I don't want to give away any spoilers but I'd say that should my character have any changes of heart and not be in it solely for herself, finding that hypothetical place would be the most challenging. I've having a lot of fun playing a character who likes to annoy other characters for fun, and sink ships. She's big on sinking ships.

Have you been involved with Dragon Theatre before? How?
I participated in a Monday Night Play Space event with my new murder mystery company The Clue Collective. We test ran a show there with this fantastic program they have on Mondays. It gave us a lot of good information going forward both for the business aspect of the company, and the entertainment aspect of the play.

What other theatre projects do you have coming up?
Immediately after Caeneus and Poseidon closes I go into rehearsals for Evita at Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre, in Pleasanton. We'll be performing end of April through May 14.

How do you prepare for a role? Is there anything special you do to get into the mindset of a character you're playing? 
I always start with the text. What does this character want, and why. Is there anything she says where she gives a clear opinion on anything. I use that information for figure out how I can connect her to myself, and my life, and build out from there. For shows, I always do a physical warm up, in the space I'll be performing in, while listening to a playlist of music that I feel defines the character.

What is your dream role?
Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.

Who’s your favorite mythological character? (doesn’t have to be Greek)
I really like the myths of mermaids and selkies, so it's great that I get to play with ocean mythological creatures in this show.

Anything else you'd like to share with us?
When I'm not on stage I rock climb, and I'm really thrilled to have a set to climb all over. 
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