NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 26, 2014

Mastering the stage

Former 'Days of our Lives' star teaches class for area actors

Bart Beiderbecke was fatally stabbed on August 6, 2007 leaving no grieving relatives, past or present wives, girlfriends or children. After all, he was a contract murderer and a bit of a fool, not a man with lots of friends. But in spite of his flaws, Steve Blackwood and his family were deeply touched by the loss.

In reality, Bart Beiderbecke was a fictional character. His only life was onscreen as the evil henchman in NBC’s soap opera “Days of Our Lives.” Blackwood played Beiderbecke for almost 10 years from 1997 to 2007, and when Bart Beiderbecke was killed off, Blackwood felt like he had died. “It really felt like me dying because I felt so connected to the character. When my mom watched it, she said she cried,” he said.

Although Beiderbecke was killed off, Blackwood has risen from his ashes to teach other aspiring thespians a technique which he calls “personalization” which helps actors create a three-dimensional personal connection with a character.

After teaching a successful acting class in the Detroit area, Blackwood has developed a local MasterClass Company (MCC) based on the Stanislovsi system and techniques learned from his professional training with teachers Uta Hagen, of Los Angeles, and Milton Katselas, of New York City. Blackwood now teaches in Newburyport, Lawrence and Boston locations.

On Saturday, Blackwood will be showcasing the best of his student’s work in an ensemble of short plays at the Acting Out Theater, 56 Island St. in Lawrence.

Plays will include an original work by Steve and Karen Blackwood called “I Feel: Just Mad About You” which is a short comedy about couples’ therapy.

An original work called “Acceptance” is on the program. It is written by local playwright Lawrence (Nick) Hennessey and will be performed by Newburyport talent Nicole Blackwood and Kathleen Henderson. The play focuses on a grandmother with a terminal illness who has to say goodbye to her home and her grand-daughter.

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