Arts interview

Getting into the Dramashop’s Margo Veil

On performing in the non-linear play and acting at MIT

5618 margoveil
The characters played by Noah M. Arbesfeld ’13, Illan F. Halpern ’13, Cathy T. Zhang ’13, and Johari Frasier ’13 die at a party in Dramashop’s production of Margo Veil.
Ceridwen A. Riley ’15

INTERVIEW Dramashop’s Margo Veil

Interview with cast member

Dramashop’s production of Margo Veil plays this weekend and next. The play starts with an explosion, indicating a war. Set in a recording studio, the cast makes a radio-show with entertainment of all forms: romance, action, magic, religion. The titular character is an actress whose soul gets transferred to different bodies. The Tech interviewed cast member, Princess Len M. Carlos ’13.

The Tech: What have rehearsals been like?

PLC: Very fun. I appreciated the script more because of rehearsals. The play is very technical, so rehearsals aren’t just about acting. It’s about integrating sound and lighting effects — a bit like a movie.

TT: What do you like about the characters in the play?

PLC: There are a lot of characters. Everyone in the cast acts more than one role. The characters don’t linger on stage for a long time; they’re very dynamic, and they have many quirks. For example, I’m a blind Lithuanian woman, with Margo Veil’s soul. We get to experiment with the characters, because they’re very stylized. All of them are goofy, even when the scene is serious.

TT: What advice do you have for someone seeing the show for the first time?

PLC: Don’t expect a plot. Enjoy it moment by moment, and don’t try to connect the pieces together. When you think of it as entertainment instead of a play, you enjoy it more. Every moment blows you away if you don’t look for a plot. It’s like a variety show. I haven’t encountered a play like this before. In acting classes, they give you scenes that are very narrative, but Margo Veil is nothing like that.

I was intrigued by the synopsis, but the synopsis doesn’t sound as fun as the play actually is. After you read the synopsis you still don’t know what it’s about. It’s kind of misleading because the play isn’t linear and doesn’t have a plot; it jumps around.

TT: How did you hear about the play?

PLC: I heard about it when I was taking Intro to Acting (21M.600) with Wesley Savick, who directed the play. I really liked how he taught acting. When he asks you to do something he explains the motivation for it. I heard about the play in his class, and decided to join while I was taking Actor and the Text – many of my classmates were trying out too.

TT: What got you interested in performing?

PLC: Prof. Alan Brody’s class Actor and the Text (21M.705). That class is the most mind-blowing class at MIT. In that class I experienced the stage as a safe space, where you can be your character and not afraid of being judged for yourself. Actions not usually accepted by society, you can do on stage.