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Playing Iconic Roles

20 November 2009 4:07 AM, PST | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Williams, Miller—all these playwrights and many more wrote memorable roles that over time have become iconic. For example, when we think of Stanley, we think Brando. Certain lines, too, carry extra weight. You know the ones I mean: "Stelllllaaa!," "To be or not to be," and so on.Actors generally take one of two approaches to such roles. Either they "steal" from others' performances, stage or film, at some point during rehearsals or the run, or else they studiously avoid seeing anyone else in the role and try to erase their memories of others' performances from their mind. For some, though, the course they follow depends on the role itself."It seems everyone who's ever played Dottie Ottley has won a Tony," sighs Deborah Strang, who was in rehearsal for "Noises Off" at Los Angeles' A Noise Within when I called her. Judi Dench is one »

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1 item from 2009


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