Sunday, July 8, 2012
Meet Dagobert and Chantal
Is it possible that I didn't know Antonio Brunetti or Jodi Kingsley when I wrote "Smartphones" in the winter of 2011?
I can't wait for people to meet this odd couple: Chantal and Dagobert. Husband and Wife. Emotionally codependent. He's neurotic. She thinks she is an intellectual. They can't leave without their smartphones. And they can't live without each other, or can they?
Jodi and Antonio are doing something beautiful and hysterical trying to humanize these two absurd characters.
It has been an amazing privilege for me to witness these two schools of acting come together in such a beautiful way.
From Jodi, I've learned how traditional acting can help a ridiculous farce like "Smartphones". It has been a give and take for both of us! She likes clear direction where I like vagueness, so she has forced me to be specific at every corner. That, I have a feeling, has made Smartphones a better play. She is so good that she inspired me to write a new monologue for her. I wanted this Chantal to have her moment in the spotlight. A moment just for her.
From Antonio, I've learned the beauty of having an actor run with a ball faster that I can chase him down the process. I've tried to give him as much freedom as possible because I knew that he could do a better job with Dagobert than me. His work reminds me so much of Peter Seller and Martin Feldman. Or a young Woody Allen. Three of my favorite, all time comedians. Antonio has enjoyed a string of critical acclaimed success with Hamletmachine, They are dying out and Anger/Fly, among other Trap Door hits. I hope he gets noticed for this little play, too.
And in spite of their very different acting approaches, and in spite of how different these two character move and act in scene, Jodi and Antonio have come together to have a hilarious synchronicity in their comedic timing.
As it has happened to me with Chris Popio and Geraldine Dulex (the other couple of actors in the play) I can't wait to find an excuse to work with them again!
Posted by The Chicago Theater Sweatshop at 6:25 PM