I have never done a Shakespeare piece outside of class work.

In high school, Shakespeare was a huge part of our English department- we even had an entire day dedicated to a school Elizabethan Fair! We read at least one play a loud each year of high school but being in an actual production is so much different.

Even working on scenes and monologues in collegiate courses does not equal a full-blown¬†Shakespearean production. I’ve always loved reading and seeing Shakespearean pieces, but have not up until this point had the chance to act in one.

Like any show, it takes understanding a character’s objectives throughout each scene, however in addition to creating the character one must do so while mastering the classical text of Shakespeare.

In a way this is easier than just doing a scene for a class, because one has a place to work from to add depth to a character. In another way, however, this is harder because there is more text to cover. I’ve found that for class assignments memorizing the text is very simple, but now that I’m in a Shakespearean production all of my memorization skills fly out the window.

My problem was that I wasn’t being true to my character. I wasn’t internalizing what I was saying, leading me to forget all of my lines. This was very frustrating for me, my fellow actors, and my director. I found it especially difficult to memorize monologues that dealt with imagery.

My lack of understanding exactly what I was saying made it tough to make the audience understand what I was telling them.

After I researched the passages and certain words I did not know, the lines became almost second nature. I could finally begin to act. I’m very excited to further develop my character and tell the story of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.