Everytime I get to teach Shakespeare my passion and love of his plays grow. My relationship to Shakespeare’s plays began in ignorance which is not a bad way to start. In undergrad I had the priviledge to play Lady M in Macbeth. I auditioned to play one of the smaller male characters (even then I knew I wanted to play men and have been able to do so many times in my career) and somehow ended up playing the Lady herself. We were in the deep south and I’m sure the production was very southern in sound, inflection and temperament. It was a passionate production. Fun. Scary. And I loved speaking those words and living that story immensely. Since then, I’ve been to graduate school, studied and performed in England; acted, adapted (cut) and directed Shakespeare’s plays. I’ve moved from ignorant pleasure to utter fear; to grasping and ultimately to a freedom in working on his plays. A freedom that I’m grateful for. When you have the time watch or rewatch the John Barton Playing Shakespeare series on youtube. The humility and approach will inspire you. Seeing a young Ian McCellan, Patrick Stewart and Judi Dench will delight you. Although I don’t get to work on these amazing plays as often as I’d like; Shakespeare makes me want to be a better person and certainly a better actor.
I’d love to hear about your experience working on Shakespeare!