“I suppose the part nearest me is Laura Reynolds in Tea and Sympathy. Of course playwright Bob Anderson didn’t know that, but he wrote Laura Reynolds and Laura Reynolds happened to be me. It was the coming together of a part and an actress - the same attitude to life, a certain shyness in life, a deep compassion for people who are being persecuted for anything.”
The white liberal believes something should be done, but not too soon and not here. He is all negation, the white liberal: now is not the time, this is not the place, the weapon you have is too large or too small. He is all ceremony, all ritual. He pretends, he postures, he resolves. Always, everywhere, in every age, the white liberal flees the principle made black flesh. He wants results without risks, freedom without danger, love without hate. He affirms tomorrow, denies yesterday, and evades today. He is all form, all means, all words - and no substance.
Lerone Bennett, Tea and Sympathy: Liberals and Other White Hopes (1964)
Do you find it very different to play for a film or in the theatre? Cause some actors think it’s the same but others find that being aware of camera angles or having to project the voice makes a lot of difference.
Those are the differences. In the theatre, one has to control the audience. In the cinema, you can get emotion from just closing your eyes or a small gesture. The theatre requires that you project your voice and quiet the audience or make it laugh. There is a stronger feeling of power in the theatre, in a film there are a lot of people involved and in the end the editor will mix it all to the liking of the director. But in the theatre one is up there all alone, there is no one to make the puzzle pieces fit. You have all the power and that is a very strong feeling. I love that. For instance, having a restless audience and having to calm them down.
When I was playing “Tea and Sympathy” one night, there were two drunk men on the first row that didn’t stop talking aloud. I thought they were ruining the scene between the boy and myself. So I took a step closer and yelled “Shut up!” I almost had a heart attack, but I went on with the scene cause in the theatre that is something you can’t absolutely do. One never, ever, talks to the audience. I was horrified but the audience responded quite nicely, they applauded.
from “Conversations with Deborah” byJose Luís Garci – Nickelodeón. June 6th, 1995 (via deborahkerr.es)
i would’ve loved to see Deborah yelling “shut up!” at those drunk idiots. where’s the time machine when you need it?!