Eric Bryant

The Prism

I’ve been thinking a lot about how the words and the circumstances that are given by a playwright can be interpreted so differently by different actors and directors, and how each interpretation has it’s own validity.

If we think of the playwright’s contributions as a strong, white light, then the actors and directors are prisms. Prisms can be all shapes and sizes. They can contain flaws. They can be held at different angles. So it is with actors and directors. They each bring their own experience, their own understanding, their own vision, and their own flaws and blind spots.

Just as light passing through different prisms will provide a spectrum that varies in wavelength, in intensity, and in shape, the words and circumstances of the playwright pass through the experience of the actor and provide nuance and perspective.

I’m sure I’m not the first to make this analogy, but I think it makes sense.

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