MN interview: Bogdan Tabacaru on the realization of the next entity play “Lend me a tenor”

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Bogdan works with the actors during one of the many rehearsals Photo: Fegert / Fuss

MUNICH – MunichNOW Arts & Culture – We recently received this interesting interview with Bogdan Tabacaru, the director of Entity Theater’s upcoming production of “Lend Me a Tenor”. We reproduce it here in full. We must thank “adrianne16” for writing the article and to Katrin Fegert and Christine Fuss for the photos.

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Imagine how crazy life must be when you conduct a play and there are only six weeks left until the premiere! Fortunately, Bogdan, the director of Lend me a tenor, has a foolproof plan and keeps a cool head. Between rehearsals and production meetings, he spoke to us about choreographed chaos, questionable makeup choices and the art of slamming doors.

Director Bogdan Tabacaru - Photo: Fegert / Fuss
Director Bogdan Tabacaru – Photo: Fegert / Fuss

How many pieces have you staged with Entity?

This is my second piece with Entity. Before Lend me a tenor by Ken Ludwig, I directed a two-act play called Numbers by Mar Gómez Glez in 2017.

How did you find out Lend me a tenor?

I wanted to make a comedy. But I didn’t really know which one. There are a lot of great performing comedies out there. At the time, I was in the throes of a reading frenzy. I would read almost anything my friends would recommend. Eventually I ran into Ken Ludwig and immediately hooked Lend me a tenor. I burst out laughing on almost every page. In fact, I still do it during rehearsals.

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What is your vision of the play?

The play is set in a very posh hotel apartment in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1930s. So I find it fair to take advantage of that fact and design the play in one of the most iconic times. history of fashion and architecture. We want to use costumes and sets that are true to the story. We’ll use a historically accurate portrayal of Otello, we’ll have live vocals on stage, and most definitely a lot of doors slamming.

What happened in the process of selecting the right cast for this coin?

Because Lend me a tenor (LMAT) is a farce, the characters risk falling into stereotypes and clichés. I needed to find a group of actors who could provide honest and spontaneous performances, keep the play alive and perform the show differently each night. Besides the difficulty of actor, the action in LMAT revolves around the protagonist, Max. You could say the whole piece is Max’s morally questionable and hilarious journey from zero to hero. For this reason, I needed a team that could support, guide and confront the protagonist, while being remarkable in their roles.

Bogdan works with the actors during one of the many rehearsals Photo: Fegert / Fuss
Bogdan works with the actors during one of the many rehearsals Photo: Fegert / Fuss

What does a rehearsal look like?

I believe actors can be self-aware and aware of their own performance. Therefore, the rehearsal space is a safe place where I encourage actors to experiment with different ideas. Both trial and error are accepted and even supported. I have forbidden to judge the work of an actor as good or bad. Actors not only need to remember their lines, but also be spontaneous and show comedic timing when delivering their lines. For this reason, we are exploring several alternatives to read the same line of text instead of deciding on one way to read it and simply repeat it. This process is partly inspired by Stanislavsky’s emphasis on actions and goals.

What aspects of the play do you prefer?

I love watching the different characters and their relationships unravel on stage. I love how the playwright synchronizes many changes in the play using door slams. I’m a huge fan of physical comedy, puns, and language jokes. Plus, I love the style of 1930s fashion and architecture.

Is there something you don’t like about the room?

The only really difficult point about the script, which I don’t like and refuse to implement, is the unfortunate reference to the racist practice of blackface. We do not judge or assume the intentions of the playwright; we just won’t be using blackface makeup in this production. I look forward to posting more information on this topic soon.

Describe Lend me a tenor in three words!

Choreographed controlled chaos (say three times faster!)

Why do you think the public should come out to see Lend me a tenor?

I think the audience will love this production. LMAT is an exaggerated comedy, which makes laugh everything from mistaken identity and slamming doors to sitcoms and linguistic gags. The script itself is a fantastic writing feat. The piece won four Tony Awards and several other nominations.

Personally, I invite the public to expect an evening of full comedic entertainment.

Bogdan ready to relax after a long evening of rehearsals - Photo: Fegert / Fuss
Bogdan ready to relax after a long evening of rehearsals – Photo: Fegert / Fuss

About Ken Ludwig:
Playwright Ken Ludwig won two Olivier Awards. His work has been performed in over 30 countries in over 20 languages. He has authored 25 plays and musicals, including six Broadway productions and seven in London’s West End.

Appointment:
November 1-3, 2018, 8 p.m.
November 4, 2018, 3 p.m.
November 6-10, 2018, 8 p.m.

Place:
Pepper theater
Thomas-Dehler-Strae 12
81737 Munich-Neuperlach

Tickets:
€ 18 / € 12 (student rates)
Online ticket sales: www.entitytheatre.com
Director: Bogdan Tabacaru
Producer: Katrin fegert
An Entity Theater production in English.
More information on our blog: https://lendmeatenor.wordpress.com

About Entity Theater eV:
Entity is an international English-language theater group based in Munich. We have
members aged 18 and over from all over the world, and we welcome people with
various horizons to participate in our activities and shows. Although we are one
amateur band, we take what we do seriously, and we have a reputation for putting on great shows with great reviews. Our community has a sincere love for all things theater.

Contact:
EV entity theater
P.O. Box: 83 03 25
81703 Munich
www.entitytheatre.com


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