Last night at rehearsal our director brought in her Russian neighbor, Rita. She was quite a character and an animated storyteller. Boy, she's seen a lot of stuff in her life. She grew up in Russia during Stalin's regime, and she remembers being brainwashed at school into thinking Stalin was a great man. She said she's almost 80, but you wouldn't know it watching her. She's very alive (something she attributes to the freedom she has in America).
Rita was brought in to help us with our accents. It was interesting taking notes in our scripts about how she pronounced different words. The funniest thing was that she didn't think she had an accent! She spoke of the people at her Assyrian church: "Now they have accents!"
One of the guys in our play, Stephen, used his Russian accent when he spoke to her, and she thought he really was a foreigner! He's got a really good accent, which he says he learned from two Russian guys in his gymnastics class.
We have to have all our lines memorized by next Tuesday! I think I'll be fine, since I don't really have that many, and most of them are just reaction bits of dialogue.