Behind the scenes at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

It’s Midsummer Crunch Time

This week began with a simply glorious one-and-a-half days off from rehearsal!  It was really nice to be able to veg out a bit, get some errands done, and I even went to a mini-golf course that had live alligators (best combo ever?).  The break was exactly what the cast and crew needed—especially since we’re heading into rehearsal crunch-time!

Moving Into The Theater

The set is almost completely actor-ready, which means a few different things for us.  Primarily, it means that tech rehearsals for A Midsummer Night’s Dream are right around the corner.  The show has so many gorgeous technical elements, and it’s going to be very exciting to finally get to work with them.  And of course, once we arrive in tech, this means opening night can’t be far behind!  We’re definitely picking up speed and kicking things into high gear for Midsummer.

Secondly, starting tech means that Pride and Prejudice rehearsals are on hiatus until Midsummer opens.  We’ve got to make sure we keep brushing up on our lines, dialects and ballroom dancing, since it’ll be about two weeks before we can run it again.  And when we do get back to Pride, we’ll more or less be heading straight into tech for it!  The good news is that the cast is so confident with Pride already, that we’ll be able to pick it up again, no problem.  It really feels good to be part of such a strong, talented ensemble!

Saturday Classes

Saturday Class - Shakespeare Study

Aside from daily rehearsals, the acting interns are in charge of creating and teaching Saturday classes here at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center.  The ages of our students range from pre-K to 12th grade, and we cover all kinds of subjects—anything from audition technique and Shakespeare scene study for the older kids, fairy tales and fun with costumes for the youngest kids, and comedic improv for everyone in between!

The interns spent a great deal of time at the beginning of the season honing our teaching skills.  We taught each other all sorts of theater games, talked about how different age groups learn and process information differently, and practiced using classroom vocabulary best suited for each age group.  We were eventually assigned classes to teach and went about preparing for our specific age group.

Improvised Choreography

Saturday Class - Movement

This semester, I’m teaching basic dance to 3rd – 5th graders.  My teaching partner and I are focusing on expression through movement, and it’s been a blast thus far!  While we’ve only had two classes so far, our students are absolutely wonderful about creating fun, new dance moves.  They take turns leading each other in impromptu “dance parties,” and have so many ideas about how to discover choreography—either through the rhythm and feel of the music, or by focusing on the lyrics.  In fact, they’re catching on so quickly that their homework for this coming Saturday was to choreograph a little part of their favorite song to teach to the rest of the class.  The only thing is… I have no idea what kind of songs they might bring in!  Haha, any ideas about what the kids are listening to these days?

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Meet Kristin Shirilla

Kristin Shirilla

Kristin is a recent graduate of Ohio University’s BFA acting program, an Orlando Shakes acting intern for the 2010-2011 season.  Don’t miss her in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Mustardseed or in Pride and Prejudice as the spoiled Lydia Bennett. Ohio University credits include THE TEMPEST (Miranda), ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (Octavia, Lepidus, and more) and LOVE’S LABOURS LOST (Moth)

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