Auditioning: Forgiveness a Suitable Action in the Scene

Auditioning!  Is Forgiveness a suitable action to take in the scene? YES!
Notes by Director Stephen Jobes  if you have not work this man. DO! Clear Want's and Why's
Your discovery/ decision to pour your fight into your scene partner is excellent, Douglas. A View from the Bridge, a play of such large energy (Brantley puts it on the scale of a Greek Tragedy) can only be contained if actors are fiercely engaged. As often as not, the answer to all that puzzles an actor is found not by going inward but by seeking love outward, in another. “We must love one another or die,” writes Auden. Back in the mid-70’s when helping Michael Shurtleff (along with a couple dozen actors) put together his Corner Loft Theater, we hung a placard behind his small table: The Ten Guideposts (there were only ten at the time) Above them all, however, was the question, “Where is the love in the scene?” Start with love.You are also wise, Douglas, to kill the distracting self-conscious of wanting an audience/ auditor to like you. Self-consciousness is a leprosy that eats at all that is right in good work. Pour yourself into your scene partner.The leap you took, suggesting Eddie seeks not only love from Beatrice but forgiveness, is more a reflection, I think, of your generosity than of Miller’s intentions. As you speak of forgiveness in this fashion, you seem to use it as a way of opening your heart. Great. Such open-heartedness & generosity makes you more available to yourself & crucially to your partner. Even if bossy & full of swagger edged with anger he is seeking a renewed connection with Beatrice.Yet, as I read the scene, Eddie comes in pleased that he’s got the Feds after the Italians. He’s feeling not like a rat but proud. He’s going to finally get his home back the way he wants it. He can now get his wife back on track, telling her outright, “This is my house.” “I want my respect!” “I do what I feel like doin’ or what I don’t feel like doin’.”He also now gets Rodolpho out & Catherine back in tow so that he can continue the attenuated / perverse love he has (denied having) for her. It’s been clear throughout the show & Beatrice, toward the end of the play says it outright, when she confronts Eddie saying it’s not Marco on his hands & knees Eddie wants. “You want somethin’ else, Eddie, and you can never have her!”Eddie, it seems, wants to be king of the mountain again at all costs & his hamaratia (what the Greeks called the unwieldy pride that brought on a hero’s ruin) brings about his death in the end, when he still is unrepentant demanding Marco fall to his knees. It doesn’t seem to me that Eddie has an epiphany that might lead him to forgiveness; rather he seems a tragic figure defeated.The richness of your spirit, Douglas, to bring in a more vulnerable, openhearted opposite to the storming Eddie humanizes him, keeps him from being a mere brute. You offer the kind of rich soul that Anthony LaPagilia brought to Eddie opposite Allison Janney’s Beatrice back in the ‘90’s, a remarkable production directed by Michael Mayer for the Roundabout.Your interest in forgiveness still stirs my mind. It’s a kind of “undoing,” it seems, one person to the next, calling oneself out to decry great wrong. Forgiveness is a wonderful action for clearing the ravaged ruins, wherever they may be, so new growth can take place. New love, unexpected new freedom. When we spoke about it working here on 15th Street, I failed to take in the need for that clearing & was too ready, I think, to warn you away from beseeching that might turn into a negative fight. I was wrong. Forgiveness to clear sight & create fresh possibility is a wonderful tool humanly & theatrically.