Training Theatre Artists to Make a Difference
An interview with Dylan Fleming, M.F.A. Acting Candidate, about his upcoming solo thesis show, “Emergency” by Daniel Beaty.
1.) Tell us a little bit about your solo show.
A slave ship emerges out of the Hudson River in front of the Statue of Liberty sending NYC into a frenzy. Emergency is an intricately woven, urgent, witty and moving exploration of our shared humanity and what it means to be free. An explosive play where rhythm, rhyme and remembrance rise.
2.) Why did you choose this particular show? What interested you the most about the piece?
I’ve been a fan of Daniel Beaty’s work for some time now. I chose this particular piece because I wanted the voices of these characters to be heard. This story is important to our community. The hearts and souls of these characters couldn’t just sit on someone’s bookshelf. The way Daniel Beaty weaves the stories of these character’s lives so flawlessly shows how we are all connected in one way or another.
3.) What did you find to be the biggest challenge of doing a one-person show?
Hands down the biggest challenge was making each of these 14 characters unique and different. Usually with a cast of 14 actors that would be an easy feat because each actor brings their own unique take to their own character. With it just being myself, I didn’t want all the characters to just be a general wash of a character. I want each character to have their own thoughts and gestures and point of view of everything that’s happening to them and around them.
4.) What has been working with the director been like, considering it is just you, him, and the text?
Honestly, I love it. It was terrifying in the beginning at first but Eric definitely created a fun and safe workspace where I wasn’t afraid to bounce my ideas off him and vice versa. Eric has brilliant vision. His brain is always churning out new, fresh ideas and we were able to get a lot of great things accomplished because it was just him and me.