Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Rainmaker: Building a Family with Strangers

Relationships are one of the most important aspects of a play for me. A play is also about theme and plot and conflict, sure, but it is the people who inhabit the play; their individual personalities and beliefs in relation to one another that create the heart of the story.  One of the most challenging relationships to create on stage is that of a family unit; complete with a sense of life long history and personal interaction with all its quirky banter, ugly warts and love for one another.

After being cast in BoHo Theatre's the Rainmaker, my mind instantly jumped to these questions: who will play my father, my brother, my sister? Who are these people, these strangers; and will my personality and style fit in with theirs to make this family work? Thankfully both the playwright and the director did an amazing job, and most of the hard work; Mr. Nash, by writing four wonderfully unique yet intertwined characters, and Steve, by casting three wonderfully talented actors to comprise the rest of the family unit.

As I read through the script for the first time and in our initial rehearsals, one of the most challenging aspects of Noah was that, on the surface, he seemed very archetypal.  I discovered I had to try to avoid playing the obvious with Noah, not allowing him to become only grumpy and angry.  I had to find the love.  As he is written, he is very literal and opinionated in his interactions with others. So, how do I find the love in Noah and not betray the way he is written?  My hope, as you watch this play, is that you will be able to see the wonderfully deep relationships that have been forged between these characters - this family, and the incredible love they bare for one another in times of need.  And that in Noah you see a concerned son and brother who, despite his rough nature, truly does love and care for his family.

-- Daniel Gilbert, who plays Noah, is originally from Oklahoma. He moved to Chicago from Nebraska, where he attended grad school at UNL, in the fall of 2010 with his lovely wife Sara and their disingenuous cat Electra. 

1 comment :

  1. I think that is great advice: to find the love. Love is probably one of the strongest emotions that you can latch onto, especially when dealing with the family unit. Personally, I know that I would also look for things to love in my fellow actors to really solidify the nature of a family unit, and allow that to fuel me. Thank you for your insightful post. I look forward to seeing your work as Noah in The Rainmaker.