‘Everybody is a stand-in’ means that all actors within Moeremans&Sons can play multiple parts of our performances. This way, we can maintain performances on the repertoire and play them on demand throughout the year – we are determined not to be the victim of the multitude of agenda’s that is inherent to a large group such as ours.
For ‘Shoot The Messenger’ we integrated this thought into the creative process. There are six parts to be played, and the actors cycled between them during rehearsals, always leaving somebody ‘side-lined’. This way of working creates an objectivity and oversight that is usually unavailable to an actor merely rehearsing his own part.
This relay system of building a character and a play makes us extremely flexible and is a logical step in the developing of our ‘Everybody is a stand-in’ principle. We strive to achieve that ultimately, everybody will be able to play every single part. Rotating through different combinations gives a breath of fresh air to the performance during a tour as well.
Besides swapping parts within our own group, there is a group of enthusiastic colleagues ready to jump in when necessary. Both for the actors as well as for the characters, this principle of rotation leads to innovation and deepening. An actor continues building on what has been done before him and injects his own couleur. Characters thus become a surplus of the strong sides of the different casts of Moeremans&Sons. While we only applied this principle after opening night for the first to productions, we have taken the step to integrate it into the artistic process since then in order to be able to profit from it all the more.
The actor who played a given part in the original cast is the one responsible for the transfer to a stand-in. The stand-in receives a script and video registration of the show and audio fragments of the singing parts. After preparing individually, there is a rehearsal where the original actor plays the part, followed by a rehearsal in which the original actor follows the new one like a shadow and supports him throughout the play. Actors that have participated in our shows in this manner are: Chiem Vreken, Judith van den Berg, Floor Rolf and others.