Playwright Christopher Shinn expects each line of his dialogue to be delivered in a particular manner, yet he’s loath to perform his ideal for actors staging his productions.
Why not demonstrate precisely how he wants each phrase articulated?
“Actors are trained in mimesis,” explains Shinn. “I don’t want them to simply emulate me. I challenge them to inhabit the psyches of their characters; once they genuinely experience the frisson of the dramatic moment, proper enunciation follows naturally.”
Since HENRY is not a cast member, Christopher kindly granted us a reading, showcasing the stammering eloquence, the fitful linguistic hand-wringing distinctive of his work.
In his short play “Everyone”, Shinn’s semi-autobiographical character Stephen vents emotional frustration and psychological exasperation in fraught bursts. This breakdown of fluid language not only epitomizes our modern vernacular, but rhythmically emphasizes a young man’s desperation to overcome his terror of vulnerability, and to express truths that might trigger catharsis.