All posts by Hoosier Shakes

Reunited And It Feels So Good

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Jessica Schiermeister, MFA in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin College; lives in Charlottesville.
Jessica Schiermeister, MFA in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin College; lives in Charlottesville.

In my nine years of experience with Shakespeare’s plays, one man (besides the man himself) had a hand in my development. I met Jeremy Fiebig in the fall of 2007 when I was a college freshman, majoring in theatre, and he was a recent graduate of a master’s program. His first out-of-school job was as technical director at a little college in northern Iowa called Waldorf. Luckily for me, I decided to attend Waldorf just the previous spring. Our paths crossed and my life would surely never be the same.

Jeremy directed me in five Shakespeare productions, one musical, and two 19th century plays. He taught at least six of my undergraduate classes, he talked me into getting more involved with Waldorf’s costume and props departments, and he led a group of students, of which I was a part, on a whirlwind two-week trip to London. Somewhere down the

Jessica Schiermeister as Cecily and Jeremy Fiebig as Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest, 2009, directed by Jeremy Fiebig.
Jessica Schiermeister as Cecily and Jeremy Fiebig as Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest, 2009, directed by Jeremy Fiebig.

line he also talked me into adding the new Shakespeare Minor in addition to my theatre major, which led to an internship at the American Shakespeare Center and my acceptance into Mary Baldwin College’s Shakespeare and Performance Master of Letters/Master of Fine Arts program. Unfortunately Jeremy left Waldorf to pursue another opportunity elsewhere during my junior year. Some of us were devastated. This man has believed in me for nine straight years. Thanks in large part to him, I now have three degrees, one of which is terminal, and a massive love for early modern drama that I certainly did not have in high school.

Entering graduate school in 2011, I wanted to act. I starred in every Shakespeare production Waldorf produced during my time there, and even directed one of my own, and I was ready. I was ready to enhance my skills and become an actor professionally. This did not pan out the way I originally hoped. Instead, I fell in love with scholarship and dramaturgy (something else to which Jeremy introduced me during undergrad). During my second year Master of Letters thesis, I discovered a topic in which I’ve since remained steadfastly interested. Acting has taken a back seat since then (except my time as the titular role in a five-woman production of Richard II during my MFA year, directed by Charlene V. Smith, and various other small projects).

Jessica Schiermeister as the Woman in Green and Steven Pals as Peer Gynt in Peer Gynt, 2010, directed by Jeremy Fiebig.
Jessica Schiermeister as the Woman in Green and Steven Pals as Peer Gynt in Peer Gynt, 2010, directed by Jeremy Fiebig.

 

I have never acted professionally. This summer with Hoosier Shakes is going to be different for me in a lot of ways. But I know that due to Jeremy’s guidance and my own experience, I’m going to have a great time. I’m thrilled to be able to work with him again and to spend time getting to know the other members of this company. Without Jeremy, I probably would not have discovered my love for Shakespeare and my life would be far more boring indeed.

_________

Twelfth Night and Pericles will be performed in repertory at Charley Creek Gardens in Wabash, IN, June 8-12 and the 3rd Street Courtyard in Marion, IN, June 15-19 and 22-26. Pre show entertainment will commence at 7:00 PM. shows will begin at 7:30 PM. Approximately run-time for each show is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

Performances are offered on a Pay-What-You-Will basis. If you like what you see, make a donation to Hoosier Shakes, Inc. during intermission or after the show. Donations may be made online through the Hoosier Shakes account on Paypal: Login to Paypal.com and send money to “info@hoosiershakes.com”.

Director Q & A: Patrick Midgley

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Director Patrick Midgley

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Patrick Midgley and I’m directing Hoosier Shakespeare’s production of TWELFTH NIGHT, or WHAT YOU WILL this summer.

For the past five years, I worked as an actor and educator at The American Shakespeare Center, where I played more than 75 roles in more than 40 productions, all performed in rep. I also completed two national tours. My paper on textual analysis, entitled “Echoes and Entreaties,” was delivered at the 2015 Blackfriars Conference.

Prior to that, I worked with The New York Shakespeare Exchange, The Michigan Shakespeare Festival, and The Ohio Shakespeare Festival.

I earned my MFA in Acting at Purdue University. I have a BA in History and Theatre from The College of Wooster, and this fall I’ll begin working toward my Ph.D. in Theatre from Texas Tech University.

What’s your experience with TWELFTH NIGHT?

It was the first Shakespeare play I read, in the summer between ninth and tenth grades. I was attending a summer academic program at UC Berkeley.

In graduate school, I played Sebastian in a workshop production. In 2012-13, I toured the country playing Antonio with The American Shakespeare Center.

It will be the first play I’ve ever directed–that’s right, this marks my directorial debut, and I couldn’t be more excited!

What’s up with the title?

Let’s take that one part at a time.

The first part of the title, TWELFTH NIGHT, refers to the Feast of the Epiphany. According to Christian tradition, the Epiphany is when the Three Magi presented gifts to the newborn Jesus. The traditional date for this holiday is January 6th: the “twelfth day of Christmas,” as the song goes.

In Shakespeare’s time, Twelfth Night marked the boundary of the Christmas season. Simply put: cut loose and party down.

At Twelfth Night parties, a “Lord of Misrule” would facilitate masquerades and dances. Men could dress as women and vice-versa. Servants could dress as masters and vice-versa.  This  was a chance to live an alternate life: to be whomever you pleased.

The second part of the title is a little trickier.

You can see “What You Will” as, well…as you like it. Perhaps it is intended to be linked to the idea of Twelfth Night: a wink at this very secular fashion for celebrating a religious holiday. Perhaps it is intended as an implication: in the moments of fantasy Twelfth Night provide, we are in fact living the life we most desire. Perhaps it is intended to dismiss the idea of Twelfth Night entirely: what you will, you know, whatever.

I don’t know for sure, but I like to think it is intended to raise our hopes just as Malvolio’s are when he stumbles across a letter addressed “to the unknown beloved.”

Patrick Midgley at Hotspur in HENRY IV, Part 1 (Photo by Lindsey Walters for The American Shakespeare Center)
Patrick Midgley at Hotspur in HENRY IV, Part 1 (Photo by Lindsey Walters for The American Shakespeare Center)

Who is your favorite character?

This is entirely impossible to answer and I refuse to do it!

But I will tell you a little bit about a few of my favorites.

There’s Sir Andrew: a guy who has never once thought about money because he hasn’t had to. A guy who is chivalric. Noble-hearted. Gentle. Sweet. Anxious.  He is child-like, naive, innocent, and (I’ll use this word again) SWEET.

Sweet Sir Andrew.

There’s Feste. He seems, as Dr. Ralph Alan Cohen of the ASC once wrote, “an escapee from the world of HAMLET.” He is mysterious, alluring, and equal parts sentimental and cynical. He possesses a talent that is undeniable and take-your-breath-away-ingly beautiful. And we can glimpse the clown backstage with his guard down, into his inner life: his loves, his not-quite-dead-yet hopes, and his shortcomings.

There’s Sir Toby. Irresistible, irresponsible, and irrepressible. Debonnaire. Lecherously charming. And yet, dwelling just beneath that confident, riotous persona, we sense (and soon see) a deep sadness and a profound loneliness.

Then, Olivia. Oh, Olivia. Perhaps Shakespeare’s most dignified character. Even productions that deliberately attempt to undermine her gravitas have been unable to make her anything less than a joy. She is both wise and child-like (but what child isn’t wise?). We see her in the depths of mourning and in the heights of new love.

And that’s just a taste. I hope you will come and fall in love with all of them.

What scene will be the most fun to direct?

Well, all of them, really. But Act One, Scene 5 certainly comes to mind, when Olivia  first meets Cesario.

What scene will be the hardest to direct?

The hardest? That’s easy. The 430-line Act 5. Anyone who has ever been in a Shakespeare play will agree with me there.

What is your concept for this production?

Alas, a concept. I confess I don’t have one. We’re not setting it in the Wild West or Outer Space. I’m not changing the order or scenes or adding elaborate backstories. You’ll see the play that Shakespeare wrote, spoken clearly with passion and with love. You’ll see it in all of its romance, its delicacy, its joyfulness, its cruelty, and its mystery.

This is the maiden voyage for Hoosier Shakespeare and I can’t think of a better play to begin with, or better actors with whom to take on the challenge.

I hope you’ll join us.

_________

Twelfth Night and Pericles will be performed in repertory at Charley Creek Gardens in Wabash, IN, June 8-12 and the 3rd Street Courtyard in Marion, IN, June 15-19 and 22-26. Pre show entertainment will commence at 7:00 PM. shows will begin at 7:30 PM. Approximately run-time for each show is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

Performances are offered on a Pay-What-You-Will basis. If you like what you see, make a donation to Hoosier Shakes, Inc. during intermission or after the show. Donations may be made online through the Hoosier Shakes account on Paypal: Login to Paypal.com and send money to “info@hoosiershakes.com”.

On Resurrections

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Jeremy Fiebig, associate professor, Fayetteville State University @ founder of Sweet Tea Shakespeare, Fayetteville, NC

 

Hoosier Shakes is dead.

It’s dead because it has yet to incarnate even a single word of Shakespeare’s plays.

It’s dead because the playwright who lends his name to the company is dead. This April 23rd, we’ll even celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. He’s been very dead, a very long time.

We can’t even hope for him to emerge from his grave, if that sort of thing happens, because we found out recently that his head is missing.

Both plays Hoosier Shakespeare plans to perform this summer are soaked in death. In Twelfth Night, the story begins with word of four deaths — Olivia’s brother and father die before the play begins and in the second scene, we learn that Viola and Sebastian, twins separated in a shipwreck, believe each other dead. In Pericles, the title character thwarts an assassination attempt and then later, after his marriage and the birth of his child, he, too, is separated from his family, believing his wife, Thaisa, and daughter, Marina, to be dead at sea.

Pericles was co-written with Shakespeare by George Wilkins. He’s also dead. So are all the actors who first brought Pericles to life.

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Jeremy Fiebig as Sir Robin in Spamalot at Cape Fear Regional Theatre, Fayetteville, NC

Hoosier Shakes is a theatre company built in the middle of a city and state and country that, in the “new” economy and since the Great Recession, have suffered more than its fair share of the death of jobs, extra income, and cultural life.

But in just a few short weeks, Hoosier Shakes, its artists, and audiences will get to take a big, new, fresh breath of life. We’ll give voice, for the first time and in Hoosier Shakes’ unique way, to these words again. The plays will come to life in read-throughs and actor bookwork and in our first on-our-feet rehearsals, in music and dance rehearsals, and on opening night. Life will come from the grass underneath our feet and the laughter in the throats of the audience and in the imaginations of everyone who shares a performance with us.

That’s how theatre works. Dead things come to life.

We create. We resurrect — we take dead stuff and breathe life into them.

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Jeremy Fiebig as Sancho in Man of La Mancha at Cape Fear Regional Theatre, Fayetteville, NC

In Twelfth Night, will we see the resurrection of Viola and Sebastian? Will we see Malvolio emerge from the tomb of his dark house? Or Toby emerge with new life from his drowning in sack? In Pericles, will we see the resurrection of Thaisa, Marina, and Pericles himself?

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Jeremy Fiebig as Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers at Cape Fear Regional Theatre, Fayetteville, NC

Will our actors find life in and through these freshly spoken words? Will our audiences find new or renewed interest in the old, dead poets they haven’t encountered since high school English or college drama class? Will Shakespeare awaken the cozy streets of Marion and the downy meadows of Wabash?

Sounds ambitious. But resurrections and other things that breathe life into places and people are nothing if not ambitious.

Hoosier Shakes is dead. Long live Hoosier Shakes.

Jeremy Fiebig is directing Hoosier Shakes’ production of Pericles, running in June 2016. He is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina and founder and Artistic Director/Master of Play at Sweet Tea Shakespeare. He is a proud husband to Nan and dad to Elliott and Owen.

_________

Twelfth Night and Pericles  will be performed in repertory at Charley Creek Gardens in Wabash, IN, June 8-12 and the 3rd Street Courtyard in Marion, IN, June 15-19 and 22-26. Pre show entertainment will commence at 7:00 PM. shows will begin at 7:30 PM. Approximately run-time for each show is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

Performances are offered on a Pay-What-You-Will basis. If you like what you see, make a donation to Hoosier Shakes, Inc. during intermission or after the show. Donations may be made online through the Hoosier Shakes account on Paypal: Login to Paypal.com and send money to “info@hoosiershakes.com”.

“The Plays Will Be Good.”

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Alan Rickman once shared a story about working on a production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. After a performance, Peter Brook asked the company how they felt things were coming along, so the actors started discussing the moments they didn’t quite feel they were hitting yet, the problem spots, and so forth. Brook listened and then said, “The thing is, you’ll never be as good as the play.”

 

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Candace during pre-show of The Cherry Orchard. Sweet Teas Shakespeare (Fayetteville, NC).

 

Because here’s the thing: Shakespeare’s plays are very good.

Understatement of the year, I know, but I don’t know what other words to use without sounding cliché. We’re all taught it in high school literature classes; we all know we’re at least supposed to agree that Shakespeare’s works are amazing.

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Candace Marie Joice Denver, CO

But really, they are.

If you allow yourself the pleasure of studying the complex, yet stunningly accessible stories, characters, and ideas he created – or better yet, if you allow yourself the pleasure of seeing those stories in action on stage in the hands of gifted performers – you can see how exceptional his plays are for yourself. The pleasure of being an actor is that you get to exist in both those worlds: studying first what he put to the page, and then exploring how to bring to life what you’ve studied for the delight of an audience. It’s a rewarding and challenging right of passage, each and every time.

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Candace in MacBeth

Indeed, Shakespeare’s works are, as Rickman also said, something actors test themselves against. He is the master of storytelling in every sense. In his 37 plays, he has crafted enough dazzling characters and thrilling plots to keep any actor sated for a lifetime of potential roles to explore. The economy and beauty of his words create boundless choices for the actor. The characters are honest and colorfully real. His work is accessible, funny, touching, smart, sexy.

And boy has Hoosier Shakes chosen two of Shakespeare’s most beloved and exciting plays for its inaugural season! I promise, the plays will be good. Very good. And we actors will strive to be at least almost as good as the Bard’s writing.

 – Candace Joice

Candace will portray Olivia in Twelfth Night and Cordelia, the Fool and the 3rd Servant in King Lear.

Twelfth Night and Pericles will be performed in repertory at Charley Creek Gardens in Wabash, IN, June 8-12 and the 3rd Street Courtyard in Marion, IN, June 15-19 and 22-26. Pre show entertainment will commence at 7:00 PM. shows will begin at 7:30 PM. Approximately run-time for each show is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

 

Performances are offered on a Pay-What-You-Will basis. If you like what you see, make a donation to Hoosier Shakes, Inc. during intermission or after the show. Donations may be made online through the Hoosier Shakes account on Paypal: Login to Paypal.com and send money to “info@hoosiershakes.com”.

Duana Menefee leaps at the chance to do Shakespeare!

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When an opportunity rolls around to do Shakespeare with some of your favorite people in one of your favorite places in the world, you just do it. More than that, you leap at the chance! Especially if you can be on the ground level of a new company!

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That’s how I felt when Fiebig asked me if I had 6 weeks free this summer. Shyeah, of course, I’ll always have time for Summer Shakespeare! It’s one of those right-of-passage, annual traditions that actors everywhere hold. And how cool is it that Hoosier Shakes is having its inaugural season this summer under the direction and movement of some of my dearest friends, mentors, and colleagues? 

It’s a no brainier. I fully expect and anticipate this summer’s events to be full of bright faces, long nights, hand-made theatre, and the finest Shakespeare to be seen in eastern Indiana! It’s a project and a dream that I’ve been looking forward to for months. I really can’t wait to see what Hoosier Shakes turns out to be and I can’t wait to get elbow deep in the work of The Bard and add to the mesh.

What an opportunity for everyone – students, teachers, actors, artists, audiences… Goodness. Exciting all around! Don’t miss it!

Duana will portray Maria in Twelfth Night and Edmund and the Knight in King Lear.

Twelfth Night and Pericles will be performed in repertory at Charley Creek Gardens in Wabash, IN, June 8-12 and the 3rd Street Courtyard in Marion, IN, June 15-19 and 22-26. Pre show entertainment will commence at 7:00 PM. shows will begin at 7:30 PM. Approximately run-time for each show is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

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Performances are offered on a Pay-What-You-Will basis. If you like what you see, make a donation to Hoosier Shakes, Inc. during intermission or after the show. Donations may be made online through the Hoosier Shakes account on Paypal: Login to Paypal.com and send money to “info@hoosiershakes.com”.

Christian Keffer on the transition from educational theatre to professional theatre

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Since sixth grade I’ve been a part of educational theatre at whatever school I attended. Each school year played out under the backdrop of whatever show we would put up; my academics didn’t take a back seat but, looking back, they weren’t the most important part of my year—that was always the Fall play or Spring musical. I’m in my Junior year at Indiana Wesleyan University and, still, all I’ve done is educational theatre. As I approach graduation, I approach a time where educational theatre may no longer be an option for me.

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[Enter HOOSIER SHAKES.] I wasn’t sure at first what the purpose of Hoosier Shakes was; I thought it was just a Shakespeare company hoping to bring the Bard’s works to mid-Indiana. Nevertheless, it caught my attention, and I began to look forward to the opportunity to do theatre outside the context of education. The Marion and Wabash areas deserve to experience Shakespeare in some way other than assigned reading by some evil high school English teacher (or SparkNotes), because they need to understand how timeless, impactful and entertaining Shakespeare’s stories are.

Then I discovered the second mission of Hoosier Shakes: to give students a taste of theatre outside the realm of school, and to cultivate networking between the professional and developing thespians involved—exactly what I needed, and exactly what I had been looking for. Students like me need a place to experience professional theatre and to understand what it is exactly they are working toward.

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As I prepare nervously for the auditions on Wednesday, I also approach them with a bit of peace of mind. Sure, there are a couple roles in Twelfth Night and King Lear that I’d love to have the opportunity to play. No matter how we are cast, though, students like me will begin to see what role we have in the world of theatre.

Don’t Miss Tim Sailer as Cassius in Julius Caesar!

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A few days ago, our tour caravan was traveling to Murray, Kentucky. I was reading Alexander Chee’s exquisite novelThe Queen of the Night. It tells the story of an orphan, Lilliet, who becomes an opera singer in 19th-century France. The following quote struck me:

You have truly grown into your artistry. You sing to give pleasure…but it is not with that craven approach that goes out begging for applause; instead, it is a gift given from your own store of pleasure, a pleasure taken from the music. This is the only honest way to give this, I think.

Like singing for Lilliet, the pleasure I get from acting, particularly Shakespeare, comes from the material itself. It’s not about the glory of being an actor (that’s in short supply). It’s the sounds, the words, the rhetoric. He is a master. It’s been such a gift to speak these words on stages across the country. This is where the pleasure lies.

Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.

Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.

My love for Shakespeare didn’t start with reading his plays. I read a lot of them in high school and college. But I was such a poser. I pretended to like Shakespeare because, as someone who loves reading, I thought I was supposed to.

Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.

Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.

Shakespeare clicked for me when I attended one of his plays for the first time: a Guthrie Theater touring production of Othello. Iago was absolutely captivating. Othello, menacing. Desdemona, heartbreaking. This 400-year-old play was sizzling with life and vigor. I didn’t understand everything that the actors said, but I knew they were in control. It was funny and disturbing. Ugh, what a rush!

Now, I recognize Shakespeare’s brilliance when I read his plays. But I believe the real magic comes from seeing his plays and speaking his words. Shakespeare explores the best and worst of humanity. He wrestles with the private and public; the head, the guts, and the heart. It’s a joy. And it’s a gift to offer this gift to you. It becomes a wonderful energy cycle. And that’s ultimately only possible with an audience.

So thank you.

Thank you for attending our performance of Julius Caesarin Marion.

Thank you for seeing and hearing live Shakespeare anywhere. 

Thank you for putting on your own productions of his plays.

Thank you for allowing these wonderful words to come to life. 

-Tim

Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.
Tim Sailer as Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR. Photo by Tommy Thompson.

Julius Caesar | On the road again

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From Zoe V. Speas, an actor with the American Shakespeare Center’s production of Julius Caesar showing this week at IWU…

We’re approaching the last few weeks of our Spring 2016 Dangerous Dreams Tour, and I can’t help but marvel at how our three shows and even the group itself has grown and developed along the way. It’s an unusual privilege for an actor to live in a set of roles for an entire year. Typically, you tackle a role in a contract for a few weeks of rehearsal and maybe a 4-8 week performance schedule to follow. I usually leave these kinds of contracts longing for another go at the characters I played, having thought of a new angle or layer that didn’t occur to me in rehearsal.

But when we embarked for our first leg of tour in fall 2015, I felt a different sense of unease about my time with these shows. I assumed that by the time we returned to Staunton, VA for Holiday Season, I would know everything there was to know about Katherine, Calphurnia, and Gwendolen Fairfax (to name a few of my characters). I fretted that my performances might grow stale or tired after so much repetition. Now, with only a few fistfuls of performances on the road remaining, I know that I was fretting for nothing. I can look at the upcoming Spring Season of these shows back home with eager anticipation. There’s always more to learn. Always. And what’s particularly exciting about working with this group of actors is that they understand the truth of that statement as well.

I love that there are problem moments for me in Calphurnia’s confrontation with her husband in Julius Caesar—things I haven’t figured out yet. There are nights when I leave stage filled with excitement (as I frantically change costumes at breakneck speeds to make my next entrance as Artemidorus) because I sensed that I hit on a new tenet of their relationship I never noticed before. And then there are nights that Calphurnia stomps out of her husband’s presence, as the blocking dictates, but with a little extra force because Zoe-the-Actor lost grip on her groundedness in the scene and couldn’t get it back.

So tonight, in Murray, Kentucky, I’ll have another shot at the scene for our performance of Caesar. And then another opportunity in the morning for a matinee. And when we arrive in Marion for a performance of Caesar, you better believe I’ll be chasing down the answers to even more questions that have popped up about Miss Cal since the last time I performed. This is what keeps our shows alive, and what, I believe, makes what we do especially exciting for each audience for which we have the pleasure of performing. You are witnessing a group of artists mid-search for truth in characters whose depths are unfathomable. Oh, and stunning costumes and sword fights and kick-butt music. That stuff’s pretty sweet as well.

Meet Zoe V. Speas from ASC

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We’re approaching the last few weeks of our Spring 2016 Dangerous Dreams Tour, and I can’t help but marvel at how our three shows and even the group itself has grown and developed along the way.

ASCjc-153

It’s an unusual privilege for an actor to live in a set of roles for an entire year.. Typically, you tackle a role in a contract for a few weeks of rehearsal and maybe a 4-8 week performance schedule to follow. I usually leave these kinds of contracts longing for another go at the characters I played, having thought of a new angle or layer that didn’t occur to me in rehearsal.

But when we embarked for our first leg of tour in fall 2015, I felt a different sense of unease about my time with these shows. I assumed that by the time we returned to Staunton, VA for Holiday Season, I would know everything there was to know about Katherine, Calphurnia, and Gwendolen Fairfax (to name a few of my characters). I fretted that my performances might grow stale or tired after so much repetition. Now, with only a few fistfuls of performances on the road remaining, I know that I was fretting for nothing. I can look at the upcoming Spring Season of these shows back home with eager anticipation.

ASCjc-165

There’s always more to learn. Always. And what’s particularly exciting about working with this group of actors is that they understand the truth of that statement as well. I love that there are problem moments for me in Calphurnia’s confrontation with her husband in Julius Caesar—things I haven’t figured out yet. There are nights when I leave stage filled with excitement (as I frantically change costumes at breakneck speeds to make my next entrance as Artemidorus) because I sensed that I hit on a new tenet of their relationship I never noticed before. And then there are nights that Calphurnia stomps out of her husband’s presence, as the blocking dictates, but with a little extra force because Zoe-the-Actor lost grip on her groundedness in the scene and couldn’t get it back.

So tonight, in Murray, Kentucky, I’ll have another shot at the scene for our performance of Caesar. And then another opportunity in the morning for a matinee. And when we arrive in Marion for a performance of Caesar, you better believe I’ll be chasing down the answers to even more questions that have popped up about Miss Cal since the last time I performed. This is what keeps our shows alive, and what, I believe, makes what we do especially exciting for each audience for which we have the pleasure of performing. You are witnessing a group of artists mid-search for truth in characters whose depths are unfathomable.

Oh, and stunning costumes and sword fights and kick-butt music. That stuff’s pretty sweet as well.

Zoe V. Speas

Auditions for Summer 2016 Inaugural Season

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Hoosier Shakes will be auditioning and casting 12 actors who will be cast in both shows Twelfth Night and King Lear.  Rehearsals will be from May 16-June 8.  Actors are expected to have memorized their lines before rehearsals begin.  Performances will be June 8-12, 15-19, and 22-26.  Auditions will be held on March 23 at 7:00 pm in Elder 146 (IWU campus).  Actors are asked to prepare two contrasting Shakespearean one-minute monologues.  Actors will be provided with housing and a minimal stipend.

King Lear

King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It depicts the gradual descent into madness of the title character, after he disposes of his kingdom giving bequests to two of his three daughters based on their flattery of him, bringing tragic consequences for all.

King Lear: King of Britain.  Aging father of three daughters. Proud and powerful. (Male, 40+, All Ethnicities)

Goneril: Lear’s eldest daughter. Ambitious, scheming, and aggressive. Initially willing to play the role of dutiful daughter, but only to gain control. Has no qualms about turning against anyone who is in the way of her ascent, including her father and her husband. (Female, 18+, All Ethnicities)

Regan: Lear’s second daughter. In contrast to Goneril, she appears to be more empathetic and available to her aging father despite an underlying self-interest, which she is more capable of hiding than her elder sister. She skates under the radar until the opportunity to seize power presents itself, and then she is more than able. (Female, 18+, All Ethnicities)

Cordelia: Lear’s youngest daughter. She has a great amount of strength, morality, and deep conviction. Although she loves her father, she values honesty and truth as well, and is willing to risk losing status and family to maintain her integrity. Steadfast in the face of treachery. (Female, 16+, All Ethnicities)

Edmund: Gloucester’s illegitimate son. Brash, cunning, and devious. Power-hungry and manipulative. He has managed to maintain a place in his father’s household and earn his trust. Keen to ruin his legitimate brother’s name and take his place as the family heir. (Male, 20+, All Ethnicities)

Various other roles some of which may be doubled:

•Duke of Albany – Goneril’s husband

•Duke of Cornwall – Regan’s husband

•Earl of Gloucester

•Earl of Kent – later disguised as Caius

•Edgar – Gloucester’s son

Edmund – Gloucester’s illegitimate son

•Oswald – Goneril’s steward

Fool – Lear’s fool

•King of France – suitor and later husband to Cordelia

•Duke of Burgundy – suitor to Cordelia

•Curan – courtier

•Old man – tenant of Gloucester

•Officer – employed by Edmund

•Gentleman – attends Cordelia

•Servants to Cornwall

•Knights of Lear’s Train

•Officers, Messengers, Soldiers, and Attendants.

Twelfth Night

T welfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–02 as a Twelfth Night’s entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centres on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola (who is disguised as a boy) falls in love with Duke Orsino, who in turn is in love with the Countess Olivia. Upon meeting Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her thinking she is a man.

Viola: a young woman of aristocratic birth and the protagonist of the play; her ship gets wrecked in a storm and she is washed up on the shores of Illyria; disguises herself as a man; practical and resourceful. (Female, 16+, All Ethnicities)

Orsino: a powerful nobleman in the country of Illyria; he ends up falling in love with Lady Olivia, but begins to grow fond of Cesario. (Male, 16+, All Ethnicities)

Olivia: a beautiful and wealthy Illyrian lady, she is courted by Orsino as well as Sir Andrew Aguecheek; with both of them, she claims that she is mourning over the death of her brother, and that she is not seeking to marry someone for seven years. (Female, 16+, All Ethnicities)

Sebastian: the lost twin brother of Viola; he arrives in Ilyria whilst traveling with his close friend Antonio, and discovers that Lady Olivia wishes to marry him when the two have never met. (Male, 16+, All Ethnicities)

Malvolio: the head servant in the household of Lady Olivia; he is a very efficient, yet self-righteous, individual; his foul attitude causes him to form many enemies, who play an evil joke on him, making him believe that Olivia has fallen in love with him. (Male, 16+, All Ethnicities)

Toby Belch: an earthy, crude, and fat character who is the uncle of Olivia; he lives with her, but she does not approve of his rowdiness, heavy drinking, and late-night carousing. (Male, 16+, All Ethnicities)

Maria: Olivia’s gentlewoman; she is an unruly figure in the play, and helps to establish its festive and rebellious spirit. (Female, 16+, All Ethnicities)

Various other roles some of which may be doubled.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek – a rich man who Sir Toby brings to be Olivia’s wooer

Feste – the clown, or jester, of Olivia’s household

•Fabian – a servant and friend to Sir Toby

•Antonio – a captain and friend to Sebastian

•Valentine and Curio – gentlemen attending on the Duke

•A Servant of Olivia

•Captain of the Wrecked Ship – friend to Viola