Thoughts on Hands of Sodom

There was a “brown bag” discussion today at Westminster college to discuss the show. The director, Jenni Lou Oakes, the playwright, Laekin Rogers, the director of the department, Michael Vought, and several members of the cast attended. We took questions and discussed the show from a psychological and social point of view with members of the audiences, and interested community members.

Since this was a workshop production, and there wasn’t any documentary made of it, I thought I should put down some of my thoughts of the process.

When we first got together, our first rehearsal was just a read-through of the script. I think it may have been kind of weird for Laekin, but it was extremely odd for me as an actor. This was the first time ever that this script had been read out loud by any actors, which is very different from a normal reading. It may have just been the experience of beginning to put together something that you know has never been done before. There aren’t any previous performances to base anything off of or use as a foundation. Because of this, as well as the personal nature of the show, it almost forces oneself to turn inward more than normal to create your character.

Hands of Sodom has 2 acts, each showing different scenarios and relationships in a family. The hard part for me personally was the Act 1 Father character. Originally I had 3 different people I was going to base the part on, however the first time we ran some of the more intense scenes, all of a sudden my father came out, and from then on, it was a much more personal experience.

The director was very into method acting, but it’s different working on this kind of show rather than a musical or something that isn’t directly relateable. Drawing from personal experiences is quite different when drawing an emotion for a desire to find a white cow / red cape / yellow hair, compared to finding the emotion to play a Dad almost out of mind with confusion on how to bring his family back to what he feels is the “right” path. A Dad who sees everything slipping away from him and the only way he can think to stop things from going further is to try and hold on tighter. Sound familiar? hmm.

Well overall, my thoughts of the show in general have remained the same. I told Laekin from day one that this was one of those unique shows that you want ripped up, so no-one can ever read it again. But at the same time, you want the entire world to see it, and take the lesson (or at least the lesson that I felt it was about) of being yourself and allowing others to be themselves to heart.

Isn’t it always unfortunate that the people that need to see things like this the most are always the ones who are the least likely to attend?

Left-Anna Morris (Girl) / Right - Ashley Laurence (Jane)

Left-Anna Morris (Girl) / Right - Ashley Laurence (Jane)


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by laek on October 30, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    I still don’t understand your wanting to take my script and rip it up…but if it’s a compliment then i’ll take it. 🙂


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