Lane McLeod Jackson Portfolio

The happy farm where shows retire

Actor’s Testimonial: Taylor Cawley

The first production of Lane McLeod Jackson’s I was part of was his 2011 production of Martin McDonagh’s Pillowman at Stockton University. Lane’s approach to this play was at all times fueled by his vision of the world he was creating. What is satisfying about working with Lane is that his ideas are always clear. Whether or not he explicitly states them, I am always assured that he has a goal or desire behind each character, scene, etc. In tandem with this, I was given great liberty as an actor to explore my character and relationships with other characters as I desired. We were able to, as a group, make decisions about the world we were creating. Lane’s ability to take this kind of input from his actors and seamlessly meld it with his own visions is one of the most gratifying things about working with him. I have done several smaller projects with Lane, including staged readings and a few ten minute plays, and a second full scale production: his 2016 production of Mark O’Rowe’s Terminus. Terminus is an incredibly challenging text that Lane approached with his usual knowledge and gusto. A notable part of working on any piece with Lane is that he is his own dramaturg. He is always very well versed in the background and setting of the play and able to inform his work with this in mind. As an actor, I very much enjoy how this adds to the roundness of my character, and helps to expand the world of the play for the audience. When it comes down to it, what I take away from much of Lane’s work as a director is his focus on characters. I’ve done staged readings for two of his own plays, and in mounting these readings Lane is always careful and thoughtful with helping his actors fully understand and get into their characters, even if it’s for only for a few rehearsals and a single performance. His desire and ability to make works collaborative and yet unmistakably his is why I find working with Lane to be continually exciting and artistically rewarding.

 

%d bloggers like this: