Behind the Lens: 'Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll'

Behind the Lens: 'Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll'

Performance set for Colonial Players Theater in Annapolis


Written in the bygone era during the George H.W. Bush administration, Eric Bogosian's "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll" is surprisingly relevant 25 years after its original release.

Its relevance is the reason for its inclusion in this summer's Weekend Special at Colonial Players of Annapolis.

Featuring newcomers and veterans of the stage including Steve Bissett, Ben Carr, Kristi Valleau, Mary MacLeod, Erin Hill, Tim Sayles, Pat Reynolds, Ben Wolff, Josh Visnapuu, and Jeff Sprague, "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll" runs for three nights only on July 22, 23, & 24, at the Colonial Players theater on 108 East Street, in Annapolis. Tickets are a suggested $10 donation and can be reserved here.


About the Show

With themes like infidelity, social conscience, fame, homelessness, hunger, government conspiracy, and starving children in Africa, it's more than a little sad that we find ourselves struggling with nearly identical concerns and worries more than a quarter century later.

Still a child when the show was originally released in 1991, I did not become well acquainted with "Sex" until after my husband had been cast as "Bottle Man" in this year's production of the show at Colonial Players.

Taking a slightly different approach to the original one-man-show, director and friend, Paul Valleau, has cast 10 male and female actors to portray a total of 12 characters, each of whom provides his or her own commentary on the American dream (or lack thereof).

Promotional Photography

The show is described as being an "intimate, gritty and often hilarious bombardment of commentary," saying further it is "a rich and often profane medley of monologues that engages the perspective of 12 strangers you might encounter daily."

I experienced this "bombardment" for myself on three separate occasions when I was asked by Paul to photograph the cast members for the show's online marketing material.

To prepare for the shoot and get to know each character a little better, I watched Bogosian's recorded performance of "Drugs" on YouTube. I also attended cast rehearsals since several actors decided to forego any Bogosian influence in favor of their own interpretation of the character.

It was decided that I was to take a full body shot of each character for social media marketing, a headshot, in character, for the theater marquee, and a close-up shot of each actor's eyes, nose, and mouth only for the show's poster.

It was the close-up of facial features that I knew would be the most challenging because it required telling a story using only facial expressions. And it was my job as the photographer to coax this side out of them, for better or worse.

Luckily for all involved, each actor brought his or her A-game to the shoot, and as a team, we were able to come up with some really poignant expressions that encapsulate the thought-process of each character.

This was not my first foray into theater photography, having covered several plays in Dover, Delaware during my time as a writer/photographer for the Delaware State News. But this was by far the best time I've had with the genre, mostly because I had more creative control over the outcome. It probably didn't hurt that I know several cast members personally.

But even had I not known a single soul in this show, I would encourage you to go see this show. Why? Because it's thought-provoking, original material that takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotion; from the funniest of funnies, to the crummiest of crummies. And there's no way you can beat the opportunity to see a show in one of the best theater venues in Annapolis for a suggested donation price of only $10.

Seriously, people, what are you waiting for? Reserve your tickets now and see this really amazing production.

To see more examples from "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll," click here

To begin collaborating on a headshot photography session of your own, contact me.

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