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By Rebecca Wallace

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About this blog: I grew up in Menlo Park and have long been involved with both local journalism and local theater. After starting my career as an editorial intern with The Almanac, I was a staff reporter for the Almanac and the San Mateo County Ti...  (More)

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Ad Libs: Pop go the props if the actors don't stop

Uploaded: May 28, 2010
For my story this week about TheatreWorks' play "Opus," about life in a string quartet, I chatted with writer Michael Hollinger and cellist/advisor Kris Yenney. It's illuminating to hear about a script forming, especially when the writer is a violist working dissonance and other musical concepts into the language.

Then Kris talked about her art: She coaches actors on how to move with their instruments and mime playing, so they look like real classical musicians.

Kris cracked me up when she said the script was very passionate -- which meant she had to remind the actors that never, even in the heights of anger, would a real musician actually slam his violin down.

Fortunately for the props department, the actors aren't playing heirlooms. ...

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