Thuy-Khue Tran Tiffany Trent Acting Fundamentals 27 February 2012

The Vitalist Theatre delivers The Ghost is Here by Kobo Abe as a performance marked by a combination of comedy and melodrama. The play itself bears a large ensemble that fails to leave a lasting impression; however only one actor¶s performance makes the play memorable: Jamie Vann as Oba Sankichi. He plays an unrelenting con-artist with a knack for charismatic flair, showed by a number of calculated choices. The play opens with Jamie Vann introducing himself with arms extended out proudly introduce himself as the notorious Oba Sankichi, the man who turns boulders into gold. He grins at his target, Edgar Sanchez as Fukagawa, baring only his upper row of teeth like a predator does to a his prey. Vann¶s eyes flashes and his face brightens in response to the news that Fukagawa can talk to ghosts. Such a deliberate change in his countenance allows the audience to witness the birth of an idea of Oba¶s or rather his newest scheme. Vann tries to sell his trustworthiness with every slow foot step over to Fukagawa. He further hints at Oba¶s ulterior motives as Vann swings his arm over Fukagawa shoulders and draws him closer to his side, an all too friendly gesture for a first encounter between strangers. Every utterance that Sanchez begins is interrupted by the beginning of one of Vann¶s sentences; he cuts him off so casually as if Fukagawa was not speaking at all in the first place. It is within this first scene that Vann already firmly establishes Oba as a character of leadership and or of manipulation through his active guiding of their conversations and physical direction. Due to Vann¶s dominance of the

garners much of my respect and admiration for having such a talent for doing so with ease. oddly. Vann portrays Oba¶s optimistic and enthusiastic expectations as believable and true to his a character: a selfcentered yet enchanting persona. With perfectly timed winks and jolly chuckles that radiates across the entire stage. but not to be intimidating. Oba¶s scheme is well in place and he is affirmed as a certified conniver. Furthermore. instead of open arms. Vann carefully moves so he is always facing the audience. instead. He allows the audience to see that every movement towards his wife²the wholesome embrace and comforting pat on her back²is just a ploy to manipulate her feelings so he can escape her rightly justified anger. at this point the audience understands that Oba is the puppeteer and Fukagawa the puppet. they manage to fall for Oba and his charming ways. Vann takes the malice all in stride first by talking in soothing tones and nodding like he is in deep agreement in response to his family¶s grievances towards him. As Oba¶s social and financial status skyrockets. the audience easily manages to see how the community falls for Oba¶s tricks. When Oba returns home to his wife and daughter unannounced after eight years of absence. Moreover. kicking off his shoes and comfortably plopping onto a couch in the family room clearly awaiting the warm hugs and kisses from his family that usually happens during a reunion. Vann convinces the community to not only believe in the dead but also manages to swindle money out of them. he still. Vann¶s demeanor also changes to accommodate the new characteristics that Oba has taken on. He. Oba puts on a suit so Vann puts on an air of arrogance to adjust to Oba¶s character. Vann now strides towards his scene partners and . However. throughout all his interactions. Vann waltzes through the door. welcomes the crowd into this story. By the end of the next act.interaction between the characters. Oba is met with anger and ill will. Even though his every action is to weasel out of a problem or into a scheme.

do you?´ while he arches his eyebrow at the requester. Early on. Vann does this transition very smoothly. to change. the character. Vann accents the awakening of his once dormant greedy nature. He vocally stretches out his response of ³You don¶t want to do that. . With each rejection. Vann establishes Oba¶s character with practiced and well cued actions and even though the plot details for Oba. His performance was consistent and memorable for his knack to make the audience like a character who should be disliked.declines all their requests with his signature flair and panache. Vann accurately depicts Oba¶s changes and furthermore portrays these changes as believable. He puts his arm around their shoulders and slyly escorts them to the direction that they came from as if it were their idea that their favor was silly to begin with.

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