Interview with a Shakespearean Actress
By Christy Box, Grade 10

Have you ever seen a Shakespeare play brought to life? While we were preparing for the annual Shakespeare Festival, we found out that one of our own FLVS students is a Shakespearean actress! We asked her a few questions about what it is like to perform Shakespeare.

Q: Tell me about yourself.
A: My name is Emma Boswell, I live in DeLand, Florida. I am in 9th grade and I am 15 years old. I am the eldest of three children and I am homeschooled. I love God, I enjoy reading, art, history, music and acting. I am very interested in Colonial American history and often travel with my family to Colonial Williamsburg. I sing at church and in the Stetson University children's choir, I love helping others, and spending time with my friends and family.

Q: Tell me about the Shakespeare Company you work with.
A: I work with the Central Florida Homeschool Shakespeare Theater Company. We are a children's group that learns about and performs some of Shakespeare's plays in the original Shakespearean language. We learn the play, make sets, costumes and props, then we have two performances. We have approximately 30 children in our theatre group, with ages ranging from 4 to 19.

Q: How did you get involved with it?
A: Last year I was in the play The Pirates of Penzance with the daughter of the director.  After we finished the play she came over and asked if I would be interested in joining their group.

Q: What are you performing now?
A: This year we are performing A Midsummer Night's Dream. This is one of Shakespeare's comedies. It is a perfect choice for our group as there is a large number of parts and a lot of dialogue. I can't really say who the lead character is in this play, there are so many.

I was chosen to play Hermia, one of the two sets of Athenian lovers in the play. It has been fun playing her. Hermia is supposed to be petite and I am 5'8" tall. There is a scene where the other actors insult me and refer to me as a dwarf six or seven times, we think it will make people laugh.

Q: What goes into performing a Shakespeare play? What do you do to prepare?
A: A lot of work.  We have been working on the play since last October.  We have had to memorize our scripts, learn how to act and project our voices so we can be heard. We have had to learn how to speak in Shakespearean English, which has words we no longer use in the English language, and can be cumbersome to recite.

We have made sets, costumes, and props. We have had to ask for donations for food and supplies to make sets and sell as concessions. We have to learned how to use the sound board and lights, how to make scene changes and help the younger children. We have publicized our play, made programs and fliers. One of my paintings was chosen to be on the cover of our program. I am sure I am leaving things out, but it is a major commitment of time for me and my family as well as everyone involved in the group.

Q: Why do you like performing Shakespeare?
A: I enjoy the language. The fact that this play has been performed for 400 years is fascinating to me. It is as interesting to me now as it must have been to the people who saw it when it was written in the late 1500's. The play is funny and complex and visually very rich. I love the fairies and the fact that my character is a bit of a rebel for her time and my own.

Q: What's your favorite Shakespeare play, and why?
A: I like Shakespeare's comedies, so I would choose this play, A Midsummer Night's Dream or Taming of the Shrew. I would love to have the opportunity to play Kate!

Q: How is acting in a Shakespeare play different from performing in other plays?
A: The language is different, I had to look up some of the words that were used in this play, such as “pard,” which means leopard or panther. Also there is a rich history associated with this play and I want to do my best. There is also something special about performing a play which was written in the 1500's. I have learned about Shakespeare in school and it is a privilege to act in one of his plays.

Q: What would you tell someone who isn't interested in Shakespeare?
A: Shakespeare has a play that will interest everybody. If you are interested in comedy, tragedy, political intrigue, romance, you can find something that will interest you in his plays. Also, his plays are as meaningful now as they were when they were written. Many modern movies, plays, books and songs are inspired by William Shakespeare's work.

Q: Do you have anything else you want to add?
A: Please come to see our play, you will have a good time. You may be inspired and will join us next year. Our version is rated G, it is appropriate for children. Our performances will be Friday April 29th at 6:30 and Saturday April 30th at 5:30. It will be at the Orange City United Methodist Church 396 E. University Avenue in Orange City, Florida.

kamil bekcett
4/27/2011 11:42:34 pm

wow your cool


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