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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Always Watching in 'The Farm'

L-R: Dale Place and Nael Nacer in The Farm by Walt McGough
I do a lot of watching in The Farm. My character, The Enemy, is a phantom predator who spends a lot of the play stalking his prey. He's mostly in the shadows but he is always watching.

So in these past few weeks I've had the privilege of watching David Gammons, Dale Place, and Lindsey McWhorter at work. It's been a blast seeing Dale and Lindsey going to toe-to-toe as their characters, Finn and Parker. They. Are. Badass.

With David's guidance and collaboration, they are also finding so much depth, nuance, and humanity in these characters who are 100% ready to pounce for the entire length of this play. It's thrilling to watch two characters try to deceive, manipulate, and outsmart each other so skillfully. These people are the CIA, they are highly intelligent and they're always calculating their next move, prepared to strike at any moment, trained to kill.

There are moments in this play when anything could happen. When the characters aren't speaking. When they are sizing each other up. In dangerous silence. And the Enemy is creeping in. And there's a weapon nearby. And they are all close enough to grab it. Will one of them make the move? I get chills thinking about it.

But what elevates this from pure genre is the human element that Walt McGough has injected in his story. He's interested in the cost of years spent living in the shadows, the cost of taking a life, the cost of never trusting another soul. Can one ever really recover from that life? In the CIA, legend has it they have a recovery center called The Farm, where retiring agents get to uncoil, relax, and drink beers on the porch. Learn to turn down their survival instincts. Finn desperately wants to go there, but first there's a little matter to clear up...Enter the Enemy.

This weekend we're going into tech, and this thing is really gonna cook. We'll finally get to see Karen Perlow's lights and wear Gail Astrid Buckley's costumes. We've already heard some of David Remedios' phenomenal sound design, and it's like another character has been introduced to the play. The tension he's created is excruciating. And Jon Savage's set is totally shady, in the best possible way. It's another element that keeps Finn on edge and the audience wondering- what is really going on here?
I've loved every moment of rehearsing this play, working with these wonderful people, and watching it all come together. I am incredibly excited for us to be up and running and for people to come see this haunting new work. This is a show you don't want to miss. I'll be watching out for you. Trust me. 

-Nael Nacer

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