After my wonderful experience with interACT Productions during Present Laughter, I did not hesitate when the Artistic Director of the company, Nick Clarey, asked me to audition for their next show, Big River. A musical about the famous adventures of "Huckleberry Fin" written by Mark Twain. I got cast to play the role of "Sally Phelps," Tom Sawyer's aunt and an energetic, warm-hearted lady with a mind of her own.
For this part I have to speak with an American Southern accent, which is quite the opposite from a British RP accent - something I have been speaking with for months now during my Present Laughter rehearsals and performances.
I have noticed how much my take on a character can change simply by the use of an accent, just like what I experienced during The Syringa Tree when I had to learn multiple dialects. I find that an accent can aid in building a character, since speech sheds a lot of light on someone's persona. Speech qualities, like an accent and grammatical use, can give away so much about someone's upbringing and education, social status and geographical background; providing subtle but vital information about a character. I'm very much looking forward to developing my very own "Sally Phelps!"
Big River opens Friday May 6th at 7.30pm and runs for three weekends till May 21st. Fridays and Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Sunday matinee performances at 4pm at the Baird Theatre in South Orange, NJ.