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Letter to actress playing 'Rita' (in Willy Russell's 'Educating Rita'.

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Letter to actress playing 'Rita' (in Willy Russell's 'Educating Rita') Dear ......... The purpose of this letter is to inform you that you have been awarded the part of Rita in a production of Willy Russell's 'Educating Rita.' You have been chosen for the part due to your ability to depict a character well, and show the audience what you are thinking about, and the state of mind that you are in using 'body language.' This will be important, as during the play, Rita changes herself dramatically and her attitudes towards things alter. We have not yet chosen who will act alongside you in the part of Frank, but the auditions have taken place, I will contact you as soon as we have decided. I know that at the audition, you mentioned that you were nervous about performing in a play in one setting, and with only one other character. On a financial level, these things mean that the production costs are less, which means that there is more money for advertising, costumes, and other costs. The single room, with it's bookcase lined walls, represents the education that Rita wants. When she first enters, she wants to be able to read all the books, understand them, and be able to talk knowledgeably about them. ...read more.


She surprises Frank - he was expecting to need to go to the pub to 'wash away the memory of some silly woman,' but instead is faced by Rita, who is very different from the normal students that he teaches. Her cheerful outlook on her life fascinates him; he is 'trapped' in his study, and hates it. Rita hates her job, but is smiling, talkative, and outwardly happy. He only gets the chance to express himself in short sentences between Rita's long blocks of speech. In Act 1 Scene 4, Rita is frustrated with herself, 'I can't understand what he's on about'. However, she is reassured of her own intelligence, when she tells Frank about her experience in the hairdressers when 'this woman thought Peer Gynt was a new perm lotion'. A few weeks previously, Rita probably would have thought exactly the same thing, but she is above that. She has taken a few steps along the road to education. Her confidence is again increased, when she rewrites her essay, she 'beams Frank a satisfied smile, as she reads out the reworked version of her Peer Gynt essay, which originally read 'Do it on the radio.' Act 2 Scene 1 is an important turning point in the play. ...read more.


The mispronunciation of Forster as 'Foster' shows that Frank and Rita can look back on the 'old Rita,' with fondness, but they are both happy with their current situation. Frank describes Australia as 'a paradise for the likes of me,' and as I have said, Rita has the choice to do what she wants, and an education, which is what she wants. Costumes throughout the play will be similar to those worn by the actors in the film production. I have chosen these, as they are reflective of the time when the play is set, and also have been chosen to say a lot about the characters. The clothes are reflective of the character's mood. To conclude, you can interpret the character in whatever way you want, as long as you stay exactly with the script by way of stage directions and lines. This is important for the way that I am going to instruct the actor playing Frank. Stage directions are an integral part of this play and must be followed for the storyline to be presented adequately. You will be an integral and valued part of the team and I look forward to meeting you again (see rehearsal time sheet enc.). We can discuss other issues at out next meeting, but if you would like to talk about any aspect of the production sooner, please do not hesitate in contacting me. ...read more.

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