The Rimers of Eldritch – update on the winter play

The Rimers of Eldritch
By Lanford Wilson

Open dress rehearsal: Wednesday, February 3 at 4:00 p.m.

Performances: February 4-6 at 7:00 p.m in Franklin Theater

The audience will be seated on the stage for the performance. The play contains difficult subject matter, which includes sexuality and violence.

One cast member reflects on her process as an actor in The Rimers of Eldritch.

EMILY TALPEY ’17 writes:

My experience in rehearsals for The Rimers of Eldritch thus far has been an interesting one to say the least. I play the role of Eva Jackson, a fourteen year old girl who is crippled and falling in love with her best friend, Robert (played by Henry Wasserman). Part of the show follows the relationship between Eva and Robert. In addition to some of her other challenges, my character, Eva is sexually assaulted.

Looking back to my first rehearsal makes me realize how far I have come with my comfort in risk taking. Only a few months ago Henry and I started to explore our characters in an independent rehearsal. I remember the tentativeness between us in that rehearsal, not altogether sure how the other was feeling or thinking.

Now at rehearsals I sometimes catch myself on stage and I feel as if the two of us actually are Robert and Eva. It usually happens when we make eye contact during a scene, or when we make a choice that we’ve never tried before.

Something I have appreciated about this show in particular are the genuine friendships I have developed with people both in character and out of character. Often times the connections I make with people in character still translate when we’re out of character. I think this is because the trust, support, and love in the cast exists in both places.

In spite of this though, I felt a weight on my shoulders for several weeks because we had done every scene in the show except the sexual assault. I was anxious that we were not underway yet, but we finally did begin right before winter break. The first time we marked through the scene, I felt nervous but ready.

One of the things I did not expect about the assault scene is the amount of physical strength it would require from me. Just this past week rehearsal left me sore!!! The victim in a fight scene always does more work than the attacker. This insures the well-being of both people, but especially the victim.

I feel safe doing the assault scene. I do not feel like I am in danger. In fact, I feel that I have control in the scene.

The assault takes full investment from both me and my scene partner. If one of us were to stop trusting the other we simply could not do the scene. It takes a while to build up trust with someone because as trust builds, your guard begins fall down which leaves you vulnerable. Trust requires this though. Trust requires vulnerability.

If you stop to think about it, Waynflete is all about trust and vulnerability. All you have to do is walk down a hallway and you will see the familiar “W safe place” sign, but I have never truly experienced the potential of the W safe place until Rimers of Eldritch. For most of my time at Waynflete I think I have hid behind the W safe place sign. The W safe place sometimes can feel like a shelter from the outside world, but this only happens when you are hiding behind the sign. The real point of the space is to be able to take risks.

Rimers has given me a much greater appreciation for Waynflete, my director, my fight coordinator, Andrew Silver, my peers, and my cast mates… I truly cannot imagine any other high school tackling a production like this.

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