Kissing On Stage – Less OMG Than I Thought

Siiri as the Queen in A Long Time Ago, FELT IF 2012, photo by Håkan Mitts, Thespians Anonymous 2012

Theatre is practically real life… only it’s fake. When characters in a play are, say, fighting or crying hysterically, we know that it’s not real – apart from happening right when we see it. But everything else is scripted, acted, rehearsed, pretended.

A important thing about theatre is that it lets both the actors and viewers explore all the things that are real in life, only in a safe way that doesn’t hurt anyone. Emotions and intimacy are a great example – and a huge part of theatre.

The plays in FELT-IF 2012 display a delicious range of emotions – anger, lust, jealousy, love, you name it. My own character in A Long Time Ago, the bitter Queen, goes through a lot in a relatively short time. An essential part of her story are the three kisses that she shares with the Fool.

Stage kissing was something I personally had never done before. Thus, it was a new challenge to me, albeit the only ”proper” kiss of the three is ”not proper” in the sense that it’s, well, staged.

Yeah, I would like to come off as one of the cool kids and casually claim that stage kissing was no big deal at all. But I have to admit that I was rather nervous about it at first. I think one of the main things that worried me was the ”unknown” – I didn’t know anyone who had done kissing in a play, and before the rehearsals, I wasn’t sure how it was going to be done in ours.

However, it was surprisingly easy when we actually started rehearsing the kissing scenes. Once I was past the initial nervousness, there were still other things to wonder, like whether it would be different to act giving a ”loving” or an ”angry” kiss, for example.

The Queen only gives her kisses out of spite, needing to be entertained (what an amiable young lady!). But it does make me think that the acting would have to be different if she was actually supposed to ”enjoy” it. And I’m pretty sure it’s easier to act being indifferent than absolutely smitten. So this really seems like an easy way to practice something like stage kissing!

Before the rehearsals started, I kept thinking of stage kissing as something Really Big and Scary. But turns out it’s just as normal as any other aspect of acting. After all, that’s what it is – acting. Real, but not real.

”But how did they fake the kiss then?! She hasn’t even told us anything!”

Well, here’s something she will tell you: no spoilers, sweeties. Buy the ticket and see for yourself.

Siiri Turunen joined Thespians Anonymous in 2011 and is currently involved in her fourth production, FELT-IF 2012, in the play A Long Time Ago. She auditioned for the part of the Queen in hopes of getting to wear a crown (check!) but would be honoured to play her even without any headwear. Unlike her character, she tends to avoid contriving massacres.

Thespians Anonymous proudly present seven short plays at FELT IF, held 20-25 November at Dance Theatre Hurjaruuth. At FELT IF 2012, the fourth Festival of English Language Theatre in Finland, a total of nine short plays are staged by three companies: The Finn-Brit Players, Thespians Anonymous and Blood, Love & Rhetoric. For more information about the performances and plays, visit the FELT IF website.

Our thanks to the photographer, Håkan Mitts!

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