The students performing in the Department of Theatre’s
Servant of Two Masters
this November will have the unique opportunity to work with two coaches with unique, specialized training.
Doug Oliphant, the production’s Fight Choreographer, is a theatre director and actor based in Los Angeles. As a director, Doug has assistant directed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwright’s Conference for David Esbjornson, Sean Daniels and Steve Cosson. He directed The Greeter music video series for indie rock band Sleep Well, ran his original show
There is Truth, Love is Real
in the inaugural Hollywood Fringe Festival, and was the winner of the 2009 regional and national SDC Directing Award presented by The Kennedy Center in the American College Theatre Festival. He recently worked with the Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble on their productions of
(Movement Director) and
The Naked Army
(Associate Director). Recent acting credits include Andrew in
Behind Closed Doors: A 2nd Class Cabaret
at The Hayworth Theatre, Gavin in the Morgan-Wixson Theater‘s
Caught in the Net
, 5 different voices for
at the Virginia Avenue Project, and a clown in the Whitefire Theatre‘s
. Doug received his BFA in Theatre at Central Connecticut State University, studied theatre at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Theater Institute, the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy (Russia), and attended Directors Lab West in 2010 as an intern, now working for DLW as Production Coordinator. Doug also works regularly with his film, television and stage fight company Sword Fights Inc. and recently performed stunts for
. Here is what he had to say about his work on
Servant of Two Masters
“I think the show is great. I absolutely love mistaken-identity comedies, and the way the circumstances play out in
makes you squirm in your seat as everything progressively gets more and more disastrous for the characters (but more hilarious for the audience). Luckily, as all well-written plays do, the disastrous situations get tied up in the end with a happy resolution where everyone wins. Though I don’t have a ton of experience with it, I do enjoy Commedia Dell’Arte and this play uses the stock characters of Commedia effectively to tell a scripted story while still remaining true to the rules of the style. And on top of it all–there’s a fight in the middle! I’m really hoping we can create a very real moment of tension where the fight serves as the end-all for Silvio, where he either wins his eternal love, or dies trying. Beatrice’s victory over him while sparing him his life is worse than death, as he’s left humiliated in front of Clarice. That’s the juicy effect I hope we can achieve from the fight.
College students are great to work with as they generally are very open to new ideas and willing to try whatever you throw at them. That sense of willingness tends to diminish after you leave school, but from what Kappy Kilburn has told me this cast is fantastic and willing to try anything. I’ll come in with choreography in mind, but I’m most excited about hearing the students’ opinions on their characters in regards to their fight choices, what motivates them, how they hold themselves, etc. It will also be great to see how they work physically, as I love to work dynamic physicality into the fight.
Currently I’m assistant directing a show called
Way to Heaven
at The Odyssey Theatre. It’s a fascinating play about the Holocaust, centering around a Red Cross worker who went to Germany in 1942 to inspect the civilian camps, and anticipating his visit, the Nazis created an entire fake village where they cast the Jews in roles as townspeople and rehearsed scenes for the entire event…and the Red Cross worker believed it. The play is a dramatization of the real event, and it’s pretty thrilling to work on. I work regularly with my fight company Sword Fights Inc. and am training for an upcoming race called Tough Mudder, a 10-mile obstacle course that takes you through mountains, valleys, water, fire, mud, barbed wire and everything else.”
Anastasia Coon is an actor and movement teacher on the faculty at The Art of Acting Studio, the School of Theatre at USC, and New York Film Academy, and is acting as the Movement & Mask/Commedia Coach on
The Servant of Two Masters
. Anastasia has taught Movement for Actors at UCLA, University of Texas at Austin, PCPA Theatrefest, at Pasadena Playhouse through with Allies in Arts, and more. As a performer, she has graced the stage at PCPA Theatrefest
, the Lyric Theater
, the Oscar G. Brockett Theater, Grove Shakespeare Festival, and Borderlands Bilingual Theater. She has also appeared on television in
Friday Night Lights, Eastwick, Lost Tapes,
on Comedy Central. She holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Her BFA is in Theatre Performance from Chapman University. Says Anastasia:
“The Servant of Two Masters
is a kick in the pants to play, to watch and to work on! It’s like entering the kookiest episode of
set inside of a pinball machine being played by a circus clown. Mistaken identity, misunderstandings, young lovers in hot pursuit of each other, cranky old masters, and sassy servants are all on the run to get what they want from each other. As the Movement and Mask Coach on this production, my job is to bring the actors into the high-energy play of this world and help them find a process to inhabit the masks so it becomes second nature to play these archetypal characters. And have lots of fun in the process!
I’m an alumni so this experience is really special. I’m excited to work on the Waltmar stage again, where I undertook my own actor training. Setting foot into a theatre space where this act of creation and camaraderie took place is like coming home.
I’m currently on the faculty at USC in the School of Theatre, teaching Movement for the Actor and I recently contributed Movement Coaching to their fall production of
Dead Man’s Cell Phone
by Sarah Ruhl. I’m also on the faculty at New York Film Academy, teaching Voice and Movement and at the Art of Acting Studio, as well. I continue to work as an actor and am developing my solo show
Gracie and Rose
in conjunction with the Los Angeles Writer’s Center. I’m also a nominating jury member for the GLAAD Media Awards for theatre in Los Angeles.”
The Servant of Two Masters
by Carlo Goldoni, directed by Kappy Kilburn, will play in the Waltmar Theatre November 10-12 and 17-19, 2011 at 7:30pm, with additional shows November 12 and 19 at 2pm. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for senior citizens and students. To purchase tickets, call 714-997-6812 or visit