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Guest Theater Commentary:

Thirsty Theater’s "SWEET SHOT": An Impression

BY ALDERMAN BURTON F. NATARUS (42ND WARD)

(Last month, Alderman Burton F. Natarus made his professional stage debut in Thirsty Theater’s production of "Porch" – one of two short plays by Jeffrey Sweet under the heading "Sweet Shot" running through Aug. 11 at the Pilsen Theater. In this touchingly human drama, he stars as an elderly man trying to reach closure with his troubled and rebellious daughter. Alderman Natarus took the time to share his thoughts on this enriching theater experience with www.chicagotheater.com readers. L.M.)

As a novice not having performed to any extent before and not having attended courses in drama, I found committing the lines to memory as the first challenge. Once having mastered the lines, I was confronted with the challenge of interpreting and then communicating the image of the character "Ernest Herbert" to the audience.

In doing so, I had to determine who I though he is. Delving into my past experiences in life, interacting with the other players and, above all, taking proper direction from the director [Mitchell Newman] helped me to mold, interpret and portray the character which I aspired to be.

By relaxing my mind and body, interacting with and listening to the other players and acceding to and accepting proper direction, I trust I became an authentic "Ernest Herbert," the father in "Porch."

My sincere undying gratitude to Mitch Newman for his direction; Kerry Cox for her authentic, brilliant portrayal of my daughter Amy; David Krajecki for his sincere homespun portrayal of Sam; and Art Cohen who managed us all.•

(Pilsen Theater is located at 556 W. 18th St. For more information, call 312-491-8484 or log onto www.thirstytheater.org.)

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