While we had a short break, some of the actors and the producer got together and thought about the current production.
Maybe we should explain first why we chose Romeo & Juliet. Romeo &
Juliet is a gorgeous play. It has several elements in it that the audience can
relate to: teenagers falling in and out of love, generational conflicts,
jealousy, friendship, quarrels… Everyone knows the story, and we wanted to tell
it in our very own way. How do you feel about it? Is Shakespeare still relevant
today to you?
Ken Lawler (Producer and Set
Design): Yes, of course Shakespeare is still relevant today! His characters are
relatable, the complexity of the human nature hasn’t changed much in the last
400 years or so and Shakespeare’s themes and motifs are timeless and as such
still very much relevant today.
(Romeo): Absolutely! Shakespeare’s drama and comedy are timeless, and Romeo and
Juliet is one of the most enduring plays for a reason.
So Sara, you have played several female lead roles (Rosalind and Lady
Olivia), how is it to play a man? (asks the director with a grin on her face)
Sara: Not too different,
really. The role of Romeo is pretty action-packed. Dancing, kissing,
climbing balconies, multiple choreographed sword fights and death by poison.
But even harder than the action is the truly profound sadness that Romeo
experiences. When Romeo promises to stay with Juliet forever, I often find
myself crying for real.
Maria, how about you? What challenges did the role of Juliet bring to you?
Maria Binica (Juliet): Juliet goes
through an emotional roller coaster throughout the play. In only one scene, she
can change from being hopelessly in love, to cursing the heavens. She matures
very fast and I think this is one of my biggest challenges, to present these
emotional changes and her development, from a child to a woman.
What about the others – John, Jennifer, Claire and David, what brings you
John Yates (Capulet): I have
been actor, director and writer. Everything
I`ve done in the way of acting, has been with Entity. They are 20 years old,
and I was there virtually at the start.
Jennifer Mikulla (Lady Capulet): I´ve always loved theatre, to act in one
of Shakespeare´s play is the dream of every actor and thanks to Conny, I have
fulfilled my dream 5 times over.
During my time with Entity, I have played many roles, most recently I was
the chair of the Entity FEATS committee. FEATS being the four-day international
theatre festival which Entity hosted for the first time in Ottobrunn this year.
(Montague): For me, working together with others is the main attraction – the
(Lady Montague): Being now retired, I decided I wanted to do something with
people and to have fun. I always had a problem with public speaking and I
decided it was time to get over it. I am not over it but it doesn’t seem to be
so important anymore, because I have found my talent for costume making!
We love our Theatron, but it bring about particular challenges, doesn’t it?
Ken: Well, outdoor theatre is
how Shakespeare did it, so we try to live up to this. Since we set up and
strike the set for every rehearsal and performance, it must be built in a way
that this can happen quickly enough and yet it must convey the idea of the real
place, in our case, Verona.
Sara: Since we
don’t use microphones, it’s a constant challenge just to be heard. We
have to be louder than the beer garden, the children playing nearby, dogs
barking, airplanes flying overhead…
getting the correct volume is always a problem. I love the “sweet
spot” though, where you get the echo of your own voice. It disturbs
tremendously, but is fascinating none the less.
Maria: Outdoor theatre — you
never know what to expect.
David: Especially with the weather, it is always an
unscripted participant. We spend a lot of time looking at the sky with furrowed
Claire: My main challenge is getting my voice loud enough as well as
coordinating with the other actors. Perhaps the biggest challenge for me is
keeping the time when beating the drum for the dance in scene 7!
All in all though, the Theatron
in Westpark is ideal. The acoustics are good, it is situated in a peaceful, but
not too secluded spot and there is a beer-garden close-by that helps us to
refresh after rehearsals.
Another question. How does one learn such a big amount of lines – and
remember them? Any tips for other actors?
Maria: I needed first and
foremost to understand the true meaning of my words and the emotions behind
Sara: My approach
is to make a recording of the other character’s dialogue, with pauses for my
lines. Then, I play the recording and ‘talk back.’ I hope my
upstairs neighbours don’t think I’m crazy, shouting and crying at a recording
John: I have less this year than last, but I think a greater range of
emotions, which is no easier than having to learn the text.
repetition carves it into your memory, until the next production, of course.
Jennifer: In short: practise, practise, practise.
And now, let’s hear it from our cast — why should the audience come and
see this production?
John: `Cause it is very good. Everyone knows the story, but how it comes to life is always different.
Maria: The outdoor scenery,
our beautiful costumes and the set pieces transform the Theatron into 16th
century Verona, where people speak in verse, they fall in love and out of love,
dance at parties and then fight with swords.
Sara: Absolutely, come for the fight scenes! We
have an amazing cast this year, and we have SIX sword fights with NINE
Jennifer: Audiences can expect to see a
colourful production and a lot of insult slinging, kissing and murder. What more can you ask for?
All this is true, and after all: for never was a story of more woe, than this, of Juliet and her Romeo.
William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet
Four more shows!
7pm at Theatron, Westpark
Weather update: 0176 52441735