Part II Corona Character Creation: if we can’t play, we write
Updated: Jun 28
When the lockdown is once again necessary, we meet over Skype. Though it is hard on all of us, Jo
gracefully uses it as an opportunity. If we can’t play, we write. Think about the characters we can put
within our meta-play. What are some of the typical actor characters we can think of? The
Shakespearean Actor (a caricature of an actor, who knows a ton about the Bard and is very smug
about it), the actor with stage fright, the forgetful actor, the laid-back actor, and Jenny. Okay, let’s
take a second to explain Jenny, the good-natured and smart actor who gets the blame for everything
just for being too darn sweet. Jo had written her for a set-up of the meta-play and the phrase
“Damnit Jenny!” stuck with us all. She had to be a part of our menagerie of characters.
We all create names and personalities and write small dialogues based on prompts of things
that might happen during production. All of these things are still to be found in the final version of
the play. But most importantly is that we are doing it together. In weird and uncertain times, Park
Avenue did what it had done the years before: rally together and come up with new and creative
solutions. There are a few times where we can go back to the rehearsal room. Here we do
improvisations to get a grip on the characters and their relations to each other. What works? What
makes the character too insecure or too much of a bitch? What character traits and actions help
create an interesting storyline instead of being distracting?
“At first, Jenny was more of a happy girl who was constantly used as a doormat and took it.
Now she has grown into a woman with more of a spine and a whole lot more confident,” Rianne remarks on Jenny’s character development during the process.
Daan sees a similar process in his character Reggie: “Reggie went through a lot of stages
while we were developing him. By putting what we had come up with into practice continuously,
through improv, we made changes where it felt right, leading to a character that feels right with me
as the actor and that works well with the other characters. The result is very satisfying.”
Jo records some of the sessions and notes down the revelations. Finally she starts working on