Heath Koerschgen on changing tactics

As an actor you never want to reveal too much, too soon. A thriller like Wait Until Dark only enforces that lesson. A play such as this requires the careful layering of clues and character background by the actors to create audience intrigue, which invites them to piece together clues to solve a mystery. Excellent fun for an attentive and engaged audience.

For the actors playing the con men, this play is about tactics. The opening scene, for both the characters and audience, is basically receiving the base information with which the con men have to operate, who’s who, what’s needed to pull this con off, orders of operation…etc. Everything that happens after that is wide open. Susan is no spring chicken, which the con men find out fairly quick.

So for the actors, this creates a great lesson in tactic shifts. Every time the con men believe they have Susan on the ropes, she turns the tables on them. These shifts have to be in the moment and they are constant. It’s a battle of wills. At what end will these men go to recover this doll, and how far will Susan go to discover the truth? Switching tactics becomes the only weapon for both parties as truth and lies begin to layer. So finding a sweet balance between truth and deception is vital to the end reveal…the prestige of the story.

Our director Bobby Bermea worked our cast hard on this. We needed the ability to think and decide on the fly as not to reveal to Susan or the audience the ill intent of the people in her home. There were many frustrating rehearsals for all of us trying to accomplish this while moving the story forward at an alerted pace, but I think we’ve done an excellent job at finding that balance needed to keep the audience guessing. This has been a most rewarding project to work on and be a part of. We have an excellent design team, a superb SM, challenging director, fun script and a talented beyond words cast. I’m very proud to be a part of this team.

-Heath Koerschgen, Lt. Mike Talman


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