Theater Students Audition for Reimagined Shakespeare Play

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Theater students put it all on the line as they auditioned for the 2018 Fall Show on Monday, Aug. 20, and Tuesday, Aug. 21 in the Black Box. This year’s show will be Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, the first Shakespearean show to grace the Westwood stage in over 10 years. However, instead of being set in Illyria like the original, it will take place in pioneer era Texas. There are a total of 14 speaking roles up for grabs, with crew member positions also available.

Twelfth Night is a classic Shakespeare of a love triangle, mistaken identity, and girls dressed as boys,” Theater Director Lydia Coats said.

The first two days of auditions are designated for students to perform a one minute or less comedic monologue in front of their peers and directors. This allowed them the opportunity to show their personalities in a very individual way instead of having each person read the same script.

“It’s very nerve-wracking,” Gabby Sarria ‘20 said. “You have to memorize your lines, and we only had two days. Once you get on stage it’s fine, but I was very nervous while waiting.”

Students from every grade level attended auditions, each performer trying to put their best foot forward to impress the directors.

“As a freshman, it is really intimidating getting into a room and having to be with seniors,” Greta Mock ‘22 said. “But for me, I was more excited to get a new experience and no matter if you are the youngest or you are the oldest you still have to perform just as hard.”

Actors weren’t the only ones looking to get involved with the production. This year’s show will take place at the amphitheater outside of the choir room as opposed to the Black Box, and will require extra help from crew members with carrying props to and from the new stage. Additionally, many of the materials for the play are created or managed by theater students.

“We have technicians who build our sets, put up our lights, and work on sound design and costumers who put together our costumes,” Ms. Coats said. “Ms. Milam and I are both the technical director and the acting director, and we have students who act as stage managers, assistant directors, and props managers. We have a great team of students who help us put together all of our shows, and this one is going to be no different.”

Those who stood out in auditions will get a chance to show their skills again on Wednesday, Aug. 22 during callbacks. From there, the group will continue to be whittled down until the final cast is announced on Thursday morning.

“We create a list of students who are our callbacks, the ones we would like to see in particular roles, and then we will do a cold reading where they have a portion of the script and they don’t have very much time to prepare it,” Ms. Coats said. “Then we see what they can do with that amount of time, and then from there we develop our cast list.”

Twelfth Night will debut with a matinee on Saturday, Oct. 11, with more shows following on Oct.  12 and 13.