Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Day 3 (9-10-19)

Foist is very nervous about playing the role of Ulysses.  He keeps hinting that he may not be up to the role.  "Almost 500 lines, Doc -really?"  I took great pleasure in reminding him - in front of the group - of his long history of accomplishment with The Shakespeare Project, and of his expressed desire (last year) for a lead role.  He shrugged his shoulders, shook his head, and said, "Well then.  We'll see what I can do with this."

Day 2 (9-5-19)

September 5, 2019
I presented an initial cast list to the company.  Happily, I was able to give everyone the role that they desired:


Actor 1: Agamemnon - Doc (this role was left over after others had been cast)

Actor 2: Priam, Menelaus (NOT CAST)

Actor 3: Hector - Josh (previous role:  Lucio in Measure for Measure)

Actor 4: Troilus - Diego (a newbie with experience performing slam poetry)

Actor 5: Paris (NOT CAST)

Actor 6: Helenus, Margarelon, Calchas (NOT CAST)

Actor 7: Aeneas, Diomedes, Greek Knight - Zachary (newbie - very self-confident and vocal)

Actor 8: Deiphobus, Troilus’s Boy, Diomedes’s Servant, Paris’s Servant, Myrmidons (NOT CAST)

Actor 9: Pandarus, Myrmidons - Michael (previous roles:  Isabella and Madame  Overdone in Measure for Measure)

Actor 10: Nestor - Marc Anthony (a newbie, older, enthusiastic, arms full of Shakespeare books)

Actor 11: Antenor, Ulysses, Myrmidons - Foist (previous roles:  Rosencrantz, First Gravedigger (Hamlet), Lysander (Midsummer Night's Dream), Prince of Morocco (Merchant of Venice), Belarius (Cymbeline), Pompey (Measure for Measure)

Actor 12: Achilles, Trojan Soldier - Chris (previous roles: Laertes (Hamlet), Demetrius (Midsummer Night's Dream), Solanio (Merchant of Venice), Cloten (Cymbeline), First Gentleman, Friar Peter (Measure for Measure)

Actor 13: Ajax, Trojan Soldier - Damien (previous role: Juliet and Froth in Measure for Measure)

Actor 14: Alexander, Patroclus, Myrmidons - NOT CAST

Actor 15: Thersites, Trojan Soldier, Myrmidons - Preston (newbie, really hungered for the role of Thersites)


Actor 16: Helen, Andromache - Edmund (newbie, who wants few lines, and promised to shave off his beard)

Actor 17: Cassandra - NOT CAST

Actor 18: Cressida - Austin (previous role: Marianna in Measure for Measure)

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Day 1 (9-3-19)

We begin work on our 10th full production of a Shakespeare play...

Nine men showed up on this first night- all of them enthusiastic, and ready to go.  Several men did not show up and do not plan to participate this year, including two of our core members, Ed and Cory.  I wonder if the strangeness, bitterness, and difficulty of this play discouraged them...

Troilus and Cressida was selected by the men last spring, from among several contenders, including Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth (first runner-up).  T&C won out in part because of the men's interest in the Trojan War, and in part because the play offers as many as 14 "major" roles (according to one Shakespeare handbook).

Even with doubling, we will need at least nine more actors in order to have a viable production - so we are now actively soliciting for additional participants.

After check-in, Josh led the group in some warm-ups, and then we got right down to the informal business of "auditioning" for roles.  Some men had prepared pieces ("All the world's a stage," Hamlet's advice to the actors, Henry V's St. Crispin's day speech).  Others performed cold readings.  We pulled scenes from T&C, and tried them out.  Some actors expressed interest in particular roles, others did not.

The plan is to cement initial role assignments on Thursday.