Vinegar Tom is a 1976 classic that was penned by Caryl Churchill in order to condemn the opression of women, both past and present. Our Tier 1 acting students wasted no time in tackling such a compelling and thought provoking production.
We spoke with one of our acting students in the production, Shania Pearl Alvir, and got her thoughts on being one of the stars in this production, the emotional toll it took in getting her character just right and how she is finding AFTT after her first production.
How has your time at AFTT been so far?
It’s been absolutely wonderful! I wake up every morning excited to come through those doors and learning more about my craft and improving my skills.
You’re currently nearing the end of Tier 1, what has been the most valuable thing you have learnt so far?
I’ve learnt so many valuable things but I think the most valuable would be that an ensemble is only as strong as its weakest member. Everyone needs to bring their best to the table every day, and help out whoever isn’t able to do that they can get to that level. We’re a team on stage and off and we have to maintain that strength in numbers mentality.
You and your classmates will be performing ‘Vinegar Tom’ this month, tell us a bit about the production and your role in it?
‘Vinegar Tom’ is set in 17th century England, when the patriarchy thrived and women were only an accessory to men. My character, Alice, plays the role of the social deviant, wanting liberty for herself and her loved ones in a time where women having freedom is equivalent to them being a witch.
What have been the most valuable and most challenging parts of putting this production together?
The emotional obligations of my character is one of them. The world is against Alice and I have to channel that unfaltering resilience to the world chastising her for her decisions, which can take a lot out of me. Also changing the emotions from scene to scene can be mentally tiring.
What are you most looking forward to about the rest of your time at AFTT?
I’m most looking forward to strengthening my skills on the stage! I had always been afraid of the stage, but now I love it and I can’t wait to continue performing!
What advice would you give to anyone considering studying acting?
Just do it! There’s no downside to it, you hone your skills and gain new ones, your confidence grows, you learn the process and learn to love it! Go to open days and workshops to see what facility works best for your needs and so you can see the different methods and which one you want to study.