I Never Played an Ingenue

When I stepped away from actively doing any theater I also stopped attending the kinds of plays I had liked to perform in and direct. I had a hard time listening to people talk about “the craft” and I even stopped reading very much about new work, especially experimental or political theater.

I had good reasons for stepping away from 20 years of work.

Now I haven’t directed for 10 years, and I haven’t performed for more than 12. I officially no longer have the chops to do either. I realized I missed acting three or four years ago when I was casually noticing auditions, and actively reviewing the seasons of all the local theaters to see if there was anything so compelling that I might…

I have a list floating around in my head of roles I’ve always wanted to perform in that I think I am old enough (even if no longer skilled enough) to handle:

  • Dan in Aunt Dan & Lemon
  • Elinor in The Lion in Winter
  • Aurelia in Madwoman of Chaillot
  • Masha in Three Sisters

And plays that make me want to direct again:

  • Bent – I think its past time this play makes a comeback
  • Waiting for Godot
  • Everyman
  • Chimerica or Tinderbox
  • Rapture, Blister, Burn
  • What the Butler Saw
  • Adapting “This is 40” for the stage…

One thing that occurred to me as I was mulling what is making me consider trying to inch my way into theater again is the realization that I never played an ingenue. Not even when I was technically the correct age. There are two reasons for this: First, I have a strong presence and didn’t learn for many years how to temper it, and second, the ingenue never seemed as interesting to me as other characters.

I still am not sure why I am thinking about theater, or performing, or what I would even do to make motions in that direction. Nor have I completely resolved the question “was I ever any good anyway”?, that lurks around the edges.

Questions without answers, blog posts without a point – they go hand in hand don’t they?