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Friday, August 7, 2020

Play’s director an ‘actor’s teacher’

Anita Adcock is an actor’s teacher, a portrayal developed through the work she took on and experience she took in during her travels.

Adcock, an adjunct theater arts instructor, is directing this semester’s premiere play, “How the Other Half Loves.”

She took the part-time position at Pierce in 2001, but this is her first time directing a production on campus.

She chose “How the Other Half Loves” for her debut as director for its British playwright, Alan Ayckbourn.

“He writes these very very funny comedies, but there’s also an undercurrent to them that’s very serious,” she said.

Before she became a professional instructor for theater arts, she was an actress.

Born in Nottingham, England, Adcock knew early on that she wanted to act.

“It’s just one of those things that you knew from an early age you wanted to do. I think a lot of actors are like that,” she said.

Her family thought she was “mad,” but remained supportive, according to Adcock.

“They still think I’m mad,” she said.

Partly to pursue her education and acting career, Adcock moved to Paris by herself when she was 17 years old. Another reason she left England was the “depressed” environment she was around, she said.

“When I was very young, around 9 or 10 years old, I knew I would not live the rest of my life in England,” she said. “We had television, and we had movies, and we could see that the world wasn’t like that everywhere.”

Traveling from England to France wasn’t difficult for Adcock, despite her family’s financial status—she described them as “poor” back then— because of grants provided by English universities and the affordability of traveling there.

“You could go on a boat for $20. That was a while back, of course,” she said.

Not unlike many before her, she fell instantly in love with Paris.

“It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and anybody who’s been there would know that,” she said.

After some time there, Adcock then decided to move to the United States over 20 years ago with the prospect of having an easier time finding acting jobs.

Her English drama school training, however, led her to not only act alongside her cast mates, but also teach them with proper vocal techniques for acting.

“[The American actors I worked with] were losing their voice and wondering why I never did,” she said.

From there, she decided to start teaching professionally, because her age prevented her from getting many roles.

“They don’t write many parts for older women,” she said.

She brings the experience of a seasoned actress to her job at Pierce, as well as the practical lessons she learned when she was in training.

“She’s good at what she does because she gives actors a path to creating their own art,” said Bree Cardenas, stage manager for “How the Other Half Loves.”

Her charm as an instructor is supported by the evaluations given by her students.

“She’s always one of the top ranked,” Theater Manager Michael Sande said.

 

 

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