Finding empathy for one’s character is a fundamental step in the acting process. But for the cast of the musical “Assassins,” that step is more like a leap of faith.
A comedic, nonlinear fantasia about nine people who tried to kill U.S. presidents — four of them successfully — “Assassins” imagines a reality in which these villains of history not only cross paths but even push one another to commit their unspeakable deeds, which are depicted with varying degrees of artistic license. Featuring music and lyrics by legendary composer Stephen Sondheim and a book by John Weidman, the subversive show premiered off-Broadway in 1990, then won five Tonys for its 2004 Broadway revival.
Last week, an Eric Schaeffer-helmed production of “Assassins” kicked off at Signature Theatre. So how do the actors go about understanding such notorious real-life figures?
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