ESM Players — Update on Rehearsal Progress

What were we up to in the last two weeks?

We started to work on setting the scene for feuding Verona. The feud between Capulets and Montagues, dating back to ancient times, still sits deep in Verona and affects every citizen, whether they are a Capulet or Montague, or a simple bystander. We have chosen a modern theme for this feud and why it is impossible for Romeo and Juliet to unite in peace, but we don’t want to give away yet which theme it is. One thing however we can announce, it’s Team Red versus Team Blue.

So here are a few sneak peeks from our last rehearsals.

Assistant Director Anna-Maria explains the fight choreography to Malena (Peter) and Anna (Benvolio). This fight-team faces a particular challenge since they are set to work downstage (and close to the edge of the stage), therefore every single step needs to be firmly memorised.

Here you can see Lise (Tybalt) and Malou (Mercutio) in action, while the rest of the cast is trying to learn lines. On a stage with only 2,5×1,5 metres, a fight scene is extra challenging. So our big question was, how can we come up with a fight choreography that is safe for the actors and yet engaging and with an air of menace? The micro-movements that these actors employ are simply stunning. Lise and Mercutio fully embraced the challenge and bring scene 14 (Tybalt accidentally stabbing Meructio under Romeo’s arm) to life. Bravo!

And here we see the actors setting the scene for feuding Verona. Enjoy!

And now to something completely different… when the director isn’t watching… ART!

Greetings from the ESM Players 2019/20!

It’s September — which for some means autumn is around the corner. For others it means that the ESM Players get together and don their costumes for the next Shakespeare show. So, let us introduce you to this year’s Team Shakespeare!

Those who have followed us for the last four years will spot some familiar faces. This year’s Assistant Director will be Anna-Maria (top, left corner), who has been the ESM Players ever since they had their humble beginnings. And back then they weren’t even called the ESM Players. So, good to have you back on the team!

We also welcome many other familiar faces — and many new ones. Welcome to the ESM Players family.

We will post weekly updates from our Shakespearean Journey, and next week we will announce our play and, of course, the casting. Stay tuned! We’re looking forward to entertaining you with another great Shakespeare show in March 2020.

Follow us on facebook and at #esmplayers.

May the Bard be with you. And us.

Romeo & Juliet — Impressions from first week performances

Pre-show backstage, discipline — warmup — getting into character and last instructions by directors and stage-management. Of course, everyone’s primary question is — how many members are in the audience tonight?

Photos: Dora Lutz

And then the magic moment happens, three drum beats announce the beginning of the play: the moment when audience and actors become accomplices. This is the beauty of outdoor theatre, where there is no fourth wall – no place to hide, all in the open.

Photos: Dora Lutz

And yet, despite the vastness of the venue, there are intimate moments, which create an experience for both, actors and audience, in a unique emotional way.

Photos: Tom Hafner

And who says that Shakespeare is for adults only?

Photos: Dora Lutz

And then there is, of course, the relief afterwards — after a 95-minute-iambic-pentameter marathon of emotional rollercoaster, physical workout and worrying looks up to the sky hoping for the weather gods to spare us the rain tonight, after all this and much more — nothing says “Yes, we did it!” better than a cold drink. Cheers.

Photos: Dora Lutz

Romeo & Juliet — Week 9

This week, we’d like to introduce you to our actors who constitute Verona’s citizens — and are thus constantly caught in the brawls of these two feuding families.

Let us start with Blair. He plays Friar John and the Chorus. Blair joined Entity in 2001 by climbing through a window and playing a corpse and hasn’t looked back since. In R&J he plays a character who’s pretty much alive, taking our audience by the hand and guiding them through the play.

Blair Gaulton as Friar John/Chorus; Photo: Dora Lutz

Another Friar, Friar Laurence, is played by David. David moved to Munich from Britain in 2017 and he’s excited to get back into acting. Previous credits include Angel Clare (Tess of the D’Urbervilles), Elisha J. Whitney (Anything Goes) and Professor Willard (Our Town), all with the Barnes Theatre Company, London. This summer, in his role as Friar Laurence, he has the best intention of bringing those two feuding families back together. Where did it all go wrong? Alack.

David Viita as Friar Laurence; Photo: Dora Lutz

Next we have Marie, who plays Rosaline. While normally Rosaline is only pined about by Romeo but never really makes an entrance, we thought it would be a wonderful idea to bring her onto stage and let Romeo pine a little bit longer. This is her first time with Entity — let’s welcome her to the Team!

Marie Toffolo as Rosaline; Photo: Dora Lutz

Then there’s a trouble maker – Tobias, who plays a citizen. Previously Tobias has been with the Tierschutz Theater before. In R&J his character likes to cause trouble in the market place, we think, he does a pretty good job at that!

Tobias Pochmann as Citizen; Photo: Dora Lutz

A trouble maker needs someone to enforce order, and this is Zubair’s role as Officer. Originally from Uganda, he has joined Entity this year for the first time. As Officer, he will be busily containing Verona’s chaos — so better watch out, he can be quite tough on trouble makers!

Zubair Sempebwa as Officer; Photo: Dora Lutz