Thursday, April 30, 2009

In the Wings: Private Lives. Meet Lisa Stanforth.

Lisa Stanforth plays Amanda in Private Lives by Noël Coward, the final production of the 2008-2009 Mainstage Season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Lisa has experience performing in musicals, but not straight plays. However Kate Walker, Lisa's director in Children of Eden, encouraged her to be part of Private Lives.

"Kate told me that Sidney Pellissier is a great director and I'd learn a lot from him about acting," Lisa said. "Also I found the characters superficial at first, but there are so many layers underneath. Those layers are fun to portray."

Lisa plays Amanda, a divorcee whom Lisa says "married the polar opposite of her ex-husband. She thinks she'll have a happier, calmer, settled-down married life with Victor until she runs into Elyot, her ex-husband, while on her honeymoon. They discover they are as attracted to one another as ever, and decide to run off with one another. The question they face becomes 'Can we stay together?'"

Lisa has performed in Civic Theatre shows with large casts -- Disney's High School Musical and Children of Eden -- but has found that working in a small cast creates an intense rehearsal process.

"There's less time offstage and less downtime, so you're always concentrating on what you're doing," she said. "There is a lot more memorization because you're one-fifth of the cast. Being in Private Lives has been a very good experience for me because it's gotten me out of my comfort zone. I had not really experienced being onstage with only one or two other people."

Lisa concluded by explaining what audiences will respond to in the show.

"Audiences will enjoy the humor, but they will find characters they can relate to because of some relationship they're either in or have been in the past," she said.

Private Lives opens Friday, May 8, and runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through May 24. The Friday and Saturday evening shows begin at 8:00 p.m.; the Sunday afternoon shows begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site.

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