Introducing William Rees for Frank Enstein
William, 16, is making his professional debut in Co3’s upcoming performance of Frank Enstein, playing the title character of Frank. We decided to catch up with William to talk about how he interprets the character of Frank, the rehearsal process and performing in his first professional production.
Tell us about your character in Frank Enstein?
My character in Frank Enstein is an interesting one. Isolated, his fundamental social skills have practically vanished. He is obsessed with creating what he perceives as the perfect person. I find Frank’s physical disability to be an interesting extension of the character and gives me as an actor a lot of substance to work with. All the emotions that I need to play Frank are all emotions that I can find within myself.
How has it been working on your first professional production?
So far, its been really awesome; as daunting as it is, it’s also an incredibly exciting experience. Seeing as I would like to pursue a career as an actor, it’s just been an absolute blast. I can’t wait for the performances!
As an actor, where there any challenges involved with the physical aspects of performance?
At first, it was quite tough, but as time went on I managed to adjust. I think that’s mainly because I used to be an athlete so that part of my body kind of switched back on. Fortunately the environment in which we all work is so incredibly supportive so I couldn’t ask for a better and more perfect working environment.
What is the process behind inhabiting an existing role for a premier season? How much of Daniel Monks’ original Frank is in your own portrayal?
The process is one of studying and exploring. I spoke to Daniel when rehearsals first started in January and watched his performance thoroughly. This process allowed me to pick up on things that were “distinctly Daniel”. From there, I went through the process of discovering my own unique ways of looking at the different scenes and exploring them with my own acting and especially, my own experiences. There is a bit of Daniel’s portrayal in my performance but I’ve also thrown in a bit of my own personal flare too.
What are the similarities between you and your character frank? What has Frank taught you about self-acceptance?
I think Frank and I are very similar in certain respects. The isolation and awkwardness he feels is something I have always dealt with, especially with my disability. Just like a disabled person is not reduced to their disability, nor is Frank. Although there is no denying that he has a disability and that this has the potential to be awful, sometimes it can also be beautiful. I do think playing Frank has and is helping my own self-acceptance and I hope those who watch the show can connect and feel the same way too.
What are you hoping audiences will take out of this production of Frank Enstein?
I truely hope that the audiences take with them the ideas of self-acceptance and love towards everybody, no matter what.
Image by Stefan Gosatti