Behind the scenes at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Opening Night Party!

It’s official!  A Midsummer Night’s Dream is now up and running!  Opening night was last Friday, and we got a fantastic response from our audience.  After the show, we all rushed to get out of costume to join the traditional champagne toast to the cast and crew.  Toasts were made, family and friends were hugged, and then we all made our way to the Ambassadors’ opening night party!

The Orlando Shakes Ambassadors is a volunteer organization that supports the acting interns and technical apprentices… and they sponsor a party on each opening night of the season!  They always have food, drinks and music for the company.  As if that weren’t enough, the party is held in the Patron’s Room, which used to be a planetarium… meaning that they dim the general lights, and turn on the stars!  It’s a great chance to kick back, relax, and celebrate all the hard work that went into the show with a supportive theatrical community.

Since we opened a week ago, we’ve had five morning shows for middle school and high school audiences.  Some of the schools in attendance are ones that we have gone to teach at, which is exciting for the interns—it’s great to know that we helped enhance their understanding and enjoyment of the show.  Thus far, the student matinees have been going insanely well!  They are into the show right off the bat—they audibly empathize with Helena, gasp in awe at the smoky bubbles, and laugh the whole time.

After each student show, the cast stays onstage for a talk back.  We encourage them to ask questions and share their comments, and they ask us about all kinds of things.  Some of my favorites include:

  • What was the most embarrassing show you’ve ever been in?
  • What do you do if you mess up on stage?
  • What does all the purple stuff mean?

That last one has come up in almost every talk back so far, and I expect to hear it many more times.  At the beginning of our production, everyone from the court of Athens is dressed in black and white.  Once Oberon and Puck introduce the magic purple “love juice” flower, accents of purple begin to seep into the costumes throughout the rest of the play.  The fact that the students have been able to track this progression and are curious about it proves that they are not only paying attention, but are eager to gain more information about the show… which is exactly the response we hope to get from them!

Midsummer Lover's Battle

Michele Vazquez, Avery Clark, Walter Kmiec

The student matinees prove that this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream does exactly what I feel Shakespearean productions should strive to do—it gets people that don’t have a ton of exposure to Shakespeare excited and eager to see more.  I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of a production that is so successful in that regard.

Stay tuned for updates on the approaching tech and opening of Pride and Prejudice!


Meet Kristin Shirilla

Kristin Shirilla - 10/11 Acting Intern

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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