Tamara Tunie as Prospero at Pittsburgh Public Theatre. Photographed February 2019.
Unbidden - portraits in the wings
We, the audience, face the darkened stage, while the actors wait in the wings. What happens in those moments before they enter from left or right? The veteran Broadway producer David Black once asked this of actors William Hurt and Lois Smith: they replied that they would go very quiet as they waited “for that which comes unbidden”.
I am capturing portraits of performers of all disciplines as they stand in the wings, waiting to go on stage. Expectation, calm, energy, focus, fear - the aim of this project is to uncover the myriad emotions that performers of all disciplines go through moments before they walk into the spotlight. Pulling aside the 'Wizard of Oz' curtains, we are party to a very private moment of preparation.
Photographed only with existing lighting backstage, or light from the stage, I'm very careful not to be seen or heard. I'm extremely conscious of rhythm and energy. I work closely with the performer and stage management to be as discreet as possible so as not to disturb the magic moments of preparation.
The project will be exhibited and a book is planned with proceeds going to The Actors Fund.