August 27, 2011

BREAKING AUDITION NEWS! I’ve decided to cast TWO parts in our fall production of William Shakespeare’s bold romantic comedy,  “As You Like It,” as Pages to the Duke in the Forest of Arden – they will sometimes take over the parts of forest “Lords.” They will be between the ages of 9 & 12 and must be strong singers as well as dedicated actors. The parts may require as many as 80 lines in Shakespearean English.

 

Hurricane Irene spread itself over on the Carolina & Virginia coasts from early morning on – the wind and rain kicked it up a knotch all the way inland to Durham NC. Fire trucks were on the streets as tree branches fell and byways flooded. Still, five actors, three audition assistants and myself braved the storm to show up at the first day of auditions for DFT’s fall 2011 production of William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” I got to hear some wonderful, strong singing voices from the men and laugh with the antics of the women as they fell into Shakespeare’s compelling characters.

It is an amazing play – the more I know it the less I can believe I ever thought Shakespeare difficult at all – with the help of a few footnotes the sense of the story is plain and, like a game of chess, the ways of playing it are seemingly infinite. When does Orlando begin to suspect that “Ganeymede” is in truth his very “Rosalind,” and not a shepherd boy? What in the cruel Duke’s character makes him susceptible to change? Why is Touchstone, the philosopher clown, desperately driven to wed himself to the country wench, Audrey? (Well, maybe that one’s more obvious.)

Watching actors start to bring these characters to life is the pure pleasure of directing a play – and joining those characters in ways that bring a play to life is beyond words. (Well, maybe Shakespeare could do it.)

I hope you’ll join us for the continuing adventure at our 2nd night of auditions for Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”

With good wishes, Jenny

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