Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ask an Actor #1

Here at the Shakespeare Tavern blog, we have a form in the sidebar where you can submit a question to one of our actors. Please feel free to submit your questions and we'll have answers for you soon!

Actor : Matthew Felten


I recently went to see one of your plays with my school. I wanted to say that I loved your proformance. You were amazing and also my favorite actor. I wanted to know are you as funny in real life as you are in A Midsummers Night Dream? I also wanted to ask how did you manage to get the accent and the exact words of your character? Was it difficult?


First, thanks for coming to see the show and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Am I as funny in real life as in the show? I don't know. I tried to bring some of my own playfulness ad sense of humor to the role although my own sense of humor is a little darker than Puck's. 
Puck has more of a childlike innocence. That childishness is where the voice came from. When I was learning the lines my voice naturally wanted to go higher the younger I tried to make him. I eventually found a balance that felt natural for the character. I hope this answered your question. Cheers!

To answer another question that has been submitted, Paul Hester will be a Featured Actor very soon, just watch this space!

Monday, November 10, 2008

First Impressions from Working at The Shakespeare Tavern

By Kristin Hall
Education Development Coordinator

After a month as the new Education Development Coordinator for the Shakespeare Tavern, I can tell you that working for the Tavern is not your usual desk job.

For one thing, I’ve been a fan of this company for years, and I still can’t quite believe that I actually work here now. I find myself grinning as I walk into work because the first thing I pass on the way to my office is the Tavern stage.

That being said, I am still getting accustomed to the [fake] tortured cries of anguish that sound without warning through the wall beside my desk, as the cast of the Henry VI trilogy rehearses their battle scenes. Or yelling “Coming through!” every time I pass through the curtains that lead from backstage into the theater during rehearsal—a safety measure, used by the whole company to make sure that no one will come flying at me wielding a broadsword as they make a hasty exit from the stage.

The people I work with are talented and dedicated actors but also have a real talent for juggling different responsibilities. My coworker Tony Brown, for example, has recently been performing in or rehearsing for five different plays at once—Antony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the three Henry VI plays—on top of his job as the Programs Coordinator for our Education department. It’s still a bit strange to realize that as I waltz out the back door on my way to the car, having completed my 9:00-5:00 day, most of them are just beginning to arrive for a long night of theatre-making.

So far I have done a lot of watching, meeting, and learning. I’m excited to have had the chance to sit in on many rehearsals for the November Henry VI trilogy which, as a diehard fan of Shakespeare’s history plays, I have watched with no small amount of geeky bliss. There is always plenty to do at the Tavern and working here requires that you be, if not a jack of all trades, than at least a jack of lots of trades. One day I might be helping to teach high school students during one of our in-school ‘playshops,’ another day I might be working on a grant application to keep those playshops up and running, another day might find me spending a few hours sitting in on the Apprentice Company’s textual study class.

Working for the Shakespeare Tavern is much, much cooler than your usual desk job.