Written by Betsy Abraham Thursday, 07 November 2013 00:00
Hicksville residents Deborah Rupy and Chris Black will be lighting up the stage next weekend, as the two star in East Line Production’s version of Six Characters In Search Of An Author.
Rupy has performed twice with the Wantagh based theater group, as well as with other Long Island companies such as Levittown’s Ivy Lane Players and Bare Bones Theater in Northport. She’s been involved with theater since junior high, when she made her debut as Peter Pan. Since then, she’s done a wide range of genres — musicals, dramas, and more recently, comedies and says she loves the challenge and freedom of the theater world.
“It’s always challenging, no matter what the role. But even if it’s tough, it’s nice to step outside yourself for a little bit,” Rupy says. “It’s a freeing feeling because you won’t be held responsible for any of your actions. It’s nice to experiment with that.”
Black is no stranger to the stage either. His first show was in 1996 when he was three years old and his uncle carried him on his shoulders during a perforamnce of Guys and Dolls at St. Paul’s Centerstage. For the last 12 years, he’s been in almost every Centerstage show and was also part of Holy Trinity High School’s Theater Program, where he performed and worked on stage crew.
Black, who plays a technician in the play, says he liked Six Characters because of it’s plotline.
“It is a fascinating, yet bizarre story,” he said. “The storyline is very touching and it is one of the most challenging and interesting plays I’ve worked on.”
Rupy plays the mother character and says it was the uniqueness of the story that appealed to her.
“This play is different than anything I’ve ever done,” she said. “There are alternating realities and it’s got so many levels. Some characters are characters and some you’re not sure if they’re real.”
The Italian play written by Luigi Pirandello in the 1920s centers around a play rehearsal interrupted by six strangers. The strangers explain that they are unfinished characters, looking for someone to finish their story. The play’s director agrees to finish their story and the strangers begin to develop bonds with the actors. By the end of the three acts, the audience is left to determine what is, and isn’t real.
For both Rupy and Black, being a part of the play is more than just putting on a good show, it’s about working with family.
“Theater to me is more than telling a story, it’s working as a family. When acting in a show I consider my fellow actors whom I have worked with family and a family that continues to grow each time I do a show,” says Black.
Rupy echoes the sentiment, saying that her favorite part about theater is the community.
“I like meeting new people and you create a bond with them. You become a family, which is nice,” she said.