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  • Tim Hartman

A classic story, but NOT the good guy.

Can we learn anything from a character that behaves poorly? I often portray terrible people in both my storytelling and plays. The antagonist is an important part of any story, and though we want every child to give those around them the benefit of the doubt, there is some truth to the notion that there will be people around us, all through our lives, who will take advantage of others and can't see past their own selfish natures. So, 'yes', I believe it's important to teach children a lesson through negative behavior. In the production of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' I am performing in at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, I portray Claude Frollo, the surrogate father of Quasimodo. He knows how to follow the rules, but can't see the benefits of Mercy and Love. I want the audience to see Frollo's failure of Grace. That means 'acting' in a way that goes against how I would normally behave, but never forgetting the need to humanize those bad actions. It's a strange path to walk, but can be very rewarding if people see some reflection of themselves in the character. I have often seen this character portrayed in a cartoonish way. Like some villain from a Saturday morning cartoon. I don't want to portray him that way. If we can't make sense of his villainy in the context of his life and his very human concerns, we will never learn anything about ourselves.

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