Full Circle Theatre showcases Shakespeare’s Heroines

On Nov. 22, a new Shakespearian play will hit the stage. Full Circle Theatre’s Shakespeare’s Heroines is a collaborative based off of the characters of various Shakespearian heroines.

“In theatre (Shakespeare is) one of the most profound writers that we have access to,” said Claire Bolton, co-artistic director of Full Circle Theatre. “The works that he has done have been done over, and over again (in) so many ways, shapes and forms.”

Shakespeare’s Heroines is a joint piece, said Bolton. Each actor was asked to choose a heroine from a Shakespeare play that they felt best connected to them. The process started with writing scenes from pictures, songs, themes and ideas. They then chose the scenes for the play from the scenes they had written.

The heroines chosen include: Ophelia (Hamlet), Desdemona (Othello), IsabellaBaldrey (Rosalind), Malina Jensen (Miranda) and Kendra Hutchinson (Isabella) getting in character.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Weir (Measure for Measure), Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing), Rosalind (As You Like It) and Miranda (The Tempest). Other characters include the Fool and Man.

The art of writing

For Megan Baldrey, who plays Rosalind, Shakespeare’s Heroines was her first time writing.

“It was really nice for me to explore the writing side of it.” Baldrey said, “I’ve always wanted to write but never really had an excuse.”

Baldrey said it was unlike any process she’d been through before.

“The writing was a good experience, we certainly learned a lot,” said Baldrey.

Lara Zaluski, who plays Beatrice, said that the writing aspect was a challenge for her.

“I was always okay with being an actor and being told what to do,” said Zaluski. “The writing (was) already done for me.”

Anastasia St. Amand, who plays The Fool, said, “I’m beginning to think this process is addicting.” St. Amand participated in a creation piece put on by Full Circle last year, “I really want to do another.”

The creation of the Fool

St. Amand’s character is based off of characters from two Shakespearian classics: the Fool from King Lear and Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She said her character is an honest character that speaks in a floral and riddled “foolerized” manner.

“I watched a lot of The Mentalist… I based part of my character on Patrick Jane,” said St. Amand about her preparation. “He’s positive and can manipulate people and that’s essentially what the Fool does.”

St Amand said the Fool acts as a catalyst who brings the other characters together and helps them work out their issues.

“A lot of the play is the exploration of characters (who otherwise) never would have met,” said Baldrey. Baldrey attributes the meeting of the various characters to the Fool and her puppeteer-like behaviour.

St. Amand said, “(The Fool helps) these ladies come to the understanding of who they are, what their fate says and how they’re going to react to that.”

St. Amand hopes her character gives people “the power to be themselves.”

The show

Bolton is excited to debut Shakespeare’s Heroines, which she describes as being “a brand new piece of Shakespearian material.”

“(I hope the audience) gets a good sense of a intrigue and excitement from how these wonderful ladies and man can come together to create such a hilarious, heart-warming piece of theatre,” said Bolton.

Shakespeare’s Heroines starts Nov. 21 and goes through to Nov. 24. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. at Dancers’ Studio West Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

thaahr@cjournal.ca