A young actor commands the stage
From gentle to fierce, no challenge is beyond Anya Naylor's acting skill.
On her first day of acting class, Anya Naylor learned that acting is “living truthfully under imaginary circumstances.”
To play a character, she explains, an actor should try to get inside the character’s head because they don’t see themselves as audiences do. Take villains, for example.
“No matter what you’re doing [in the role], they think they’re doing the right thing,” she says. “There are a lot of human factors we don’t see—in their brain, they're doing it for a good reason.”
Acting skills also include movement, diction, voice projection, and even how to do a phone call without being boring.
But the skill of “expressing with the voice” goes far beyond normal uses.
“We learn to unlock the natural sounds your body can make that you’re socialized out of making, like vocal crying, screaming, or growling while protecting voice and body,” Naylor explains.
Success with audiences—and peers
One of only 17 freshmen accepted into the U of M Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Actor Training Program Company of 2023, Naylor wrote, directed, and acted in “The Audience,” a one-hour play about a person from the real world who falls into the world of a play and needs help getting back home.
“It’s about breaking the conventions of audience and actor interaction in theater,” she says.
The real audience loved it. And the rest of the cast loved working with her.
In April (2023) Naylor crowned her BFA experience by playing the Trojan leader Aeneas in a production of “Troilus and Cressida”
Shakespeare’s play about the Trojan War, at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.