I was recently called in for an audition at The Huntington, for a production of INVISIBLE MAN, which is based off of the Ralph Ellison novel. The novel concerns itself with an idealistic young African-American man searches for identity and his place in the world in this epic journey through 1930s America. Ellison’s novel focuses on race, power, freedom, and liberty.
In preparation for the audition, I requested that the script be sent to me. I had the opportunity to read the play. When I finished, every fiber of my being was ignited with passion. This is a story that needs to be told. I had read Ellison’s novel a few years back and felt the same way then. The adaptation takes all of its text from the novel, but the way it is woven together, and the way the director has envisioned it bring new life to it.
Chris McElroen, whose work you might know from the production of Waiting For Godot in New Orleans, is the director for the production. In his direction for the play he was inspired by Pina Baush electroshock therapy. There are a number of instances where the Invisible Man is either being beat up by life or physically being beat up. Chris uses the idea that the Invisible Man is being held by a harness and tether that he struggles against when he is receiving the electric shocks.
Also the concept of light vs. darkness is important to the piece. The set’s ceiling is comprised of various hanging lights, and the ceiling can move up and down. This allows the set to trap the Invisible Man, which is extremely interesting. This is a production that whether-or-not I am casted in, will certainly be on my radar.