Let's talk characterization. The relationships in this show comprise the foundation on which the story takes place. The unique thing about The Outsiders, is that it isn't some epic story of justice or moral conviction. It isn't a fantastical tale with heroes and villains, and it isn't concerned with eloquent language and the perfect formula for a compelling story. It is simply a slice of life. It reflects how this group of people lived in 1964 Tulsa, OK, and one of the trickiest elements of the play is to portray their casual conversation honestly without presentation. From the first day of auditions, this integral element was sought after from our actors. Through the rehearsal process, they have bonded as a cast backstage, which translates into believable relationships onstage. Each actor has grasped their character so intensely, that onstage, those relationships appear natural because they are all just that comfortable with one another. Each actor has been pulled for character work individually, in groups, and as couples, to delve deeper into the psychology of their character.
For example, my Curtis brothers have had several moments to bond outside of rehearsal time, and we have separate mini rehearsal sessions to get into character, ask questions, and add layers to our characters that make them more realistic. The same is true for our two main groups, the Socs and the Greasers. We had a full day dedicated to exploring their social rules of exclusivity, and the results of building that tension made an astounding difference onstage.
To the audiences who come to join us, we have worked so hard to realistically create an honest adaptation of their lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Be a part of our world, broken and beautiful as it is. We open February 8th and are ready to share it with the community of Springfield.
Photo by Sarah Johnson