By Chad Cline
Reprising a role is something I have become familiar with over the last 12 years. Playing Lt. Foster , annually, in Pegasus theatre’s annual living Black and White at The Eismann Center is always like putting on my favorite pair of jeans. It’s comfortable because I know the character and the world in which they exist. My experience in reprising Clark in Big Scary Animals has been similar.
The biggest difference year to year for the Black and White is more about the directors vision. Sometimes the comedy is played up, sometimes the drama, etc. The playwrights intention is played out through the lens of the director.
Telling these stories through the different experiences we have as individuals is important. It provides an understanding of someone else’s experience in life. Having a better understanding of where someone is coming from is vital in our world. It provides clarity and acceptance of something that is not a shared experience.
Playing Clark the first time was fun! I love the character and dealing with trauma through laughter is something I can understand. It’s my experience. It is exactly how I have dealt with trauma in my personal life. I joke and make light if it to hide my actual pain. It makes sense to me.
I also love my family fiercely and found a deeper understanding of Clark through his love for Marcus this time around. Experiencing the play this time as Clark was more emotional. The trauma and triggering that the characters go through is the same but our reaction feels much different. Of course it does, the world is a much different place than it was five years ago and telling the story through a different lens with all the new information weighs in and changes things.
I love this show and playing Clark! If I have the opportunity to help tell this story through different lenses, I will continue to leap at the opportunity. Be empathetic, recognize our likeness, and celebrate our uniqueness. I hope that the audiences experience is one that is conversation provoking.