Behind the scenes at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

What a Shakespeare-ful Summer!

photo-1 (1)We’ve all sat in the Margeson Theater and watched professional actors bring stories to life before us, but what if YOU got the chance to perform on that very stage? In Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s production summer camps, students in Grades 5 through 12 get to do just that! The young actors are cast in a Shakespeare play and perform on the Margeson stage for family, friends, and Shakespeare fans alike. Marina Russell is no stranger to the Theater’s educational summer programming. She took a break from rehearsing to sit down with Marketing and Public Relations Intern Lexie Hoag to give her the inside scoop!


LH: Right now you’re working on The Young Company’s Macbeth. Can you tell us a little about the show?
MR: Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s darker tragedies. The show takes place in a time of war, and it’s about the struggle for power. Macbeth will take any measures to get to the place of power that he wants, but he’s never satisfied.

LH: How do you feel “TYC” has been beneficial to your growth as an actor?
MR: The environment is so important. It’s very safe and the cast always works well together. We learn so much about acting techniques and how to develop ensemble, but the loving environment is what makes all the difference.

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TYC’s Much Ado About Nothing, 2014. Photo by Landon St. Gordon.

LH: What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome throughout TYC?
MR: Taking off the “mask” that we all wear. It’s something that we need in the real world to survive, but in TYC we have to let it go so that we can discover moments that make the show special.

LH: Soon you’ll start rehearsals as Prospera for Shakespeare with Heart’s The Tempest. How would you explain that camp?
MR: Shakespeare with Heart is a two week production camp, and at the end there is a Shakespeare performance. The cast is an even mix of general education kids and students with special needs. We come together in a completely inclusive environment. It’s not at all one-sided–it’s a learning experience for everyone. And it’s just fun!

LH: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your previous Shakespeare with Heart experiences?
MR: To be open. Open-hearted and open-minded. Just take things as they come, and find the beauty in everyone.

LH: Why would you encourage others to become involved in Orlando Shakes’ production camps?
MR: It’s a great way to make friends and gain experience doing serious theatrical productions. It’s good to learn how to work in an ensemble, and to grow through the process.

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Shakespeare with Heart’s The Merchant of Venice, 2014. Photo by Landon St. Gordon.

LH: What’s been your favorite role in your acting career thus far?
MR: Every role is so different, I don’t know how to decide! But I really loved playing Nerissa in Shakespeare with Heart’s The Merchant of Venice. I love sassy characters and getting to explore meaningful relationships with other actors on stage. I think Nerissa had the most important relationships I’ve built as an actor. Playing Ross now in TYC’s Macbeth is also fun, because I get to be a part of a major character arc that’s really important to the play.

LH: If you could give advice to a younger actor what would it be?
MR: Enjoy the process. Love what you do, love each step that you take, and love the challenges that you will overcome. Again, be open to everything. You’ll learn. We all do. And most importantly, have fun!

Want to support this new generation of actors? Catch Marina and friends in TYC’s Macbeth (playing July 10, 11, and 12–Click here for tickets) and Shakespeare with Heart’s The Tempest (playing July 24–Suggested $10 donation at the door).


IMG_20150312_172122Lexie Hoag is currently a Marketing and Public Relations Intern at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. After completing her AA at Valencia College, she plans to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. She can often be found rereading books, snuggling her puppy, and haunting local theaters.

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One response

  1. Pingback: What a Shakespeare-ful Summer! | The Shakespeare Standard

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