“Actually, the first time I saw Sony Labou Tansi’s Parentheses of Blood it was in French, but I just knew that I had to direct it,” said Indiana University faculty member Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe. “The drama of the story of a brutal authoritarian regime by this Congolese writer was very moving.”
Anifowoshe-Cooper gets her chance in IUs Wells-Metz Theatre with a cast that includes many students who’ve been focusing on reading non-western sources to broaden their perspective. Three of the actors for the production talked about realizing their characters.
Harry Watermeier described the process of coming to his character as a conscious effort to get beyond text and to get to the central feelings. “We finally decided that my soldier character was like a ten year old boy. He’s kind of macho, fascinated by the trappings of military procedures and just full of energy.
Shauna Burris is also a soldier. “There are just a few women among the men, but we pretty much just do about what they do. My character isn’t as energized as Harry’s is. I think that she’s actually got a bit of outside wisdom. She’s in the know about herself.”
Kelly Lusk plays two characters a vicious killer and a religious figure. “It’s actually kind of neat to be able to have that much contrast in a single play. I’ve very much enjoyed being able to switch back and forth even when it seems to be incredibly ironic. Somehow that irony seems to be a key to the whole play.”
Parenthesis of Blood by Sony Labou Tansi
Directed by Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe
IU Department of Theatre and Drama
Dec 4-5, 8-12, 2009