Thursday, April 8, 2010

Et tu Brutus?

Our thanks go out to all of our brave actors and audience members who endured the chilly spring air to commemorate with us the Ides of March and Julius Caesar's tragic downfall.
The workshop was one of our best, and even featured renowned Shakespearean scholar and director Christopher Clark!
Professor Christopher Clark joined the action to share his insights on what acting was like in Shakespeare's England

Skies were clear for our open-air workshop and performance

Julius Caesar the seventh workshop of this type produced by The Grassroots Shakespeare Company, which was founded to promote the exploration of theatrical practices and techniques utilized by actors in Shakespeare's day. These workshops allow participants to try their hand at acting a variety of roles from some of the Bard's greatest masterpieces.

 Participants received scripts on Tuesday evening, just four short days to memorize before meeting on Saturday for the performance. 
Shakespeare's actors would have received a handwritten, incomplete copy of the script to memorize. Each actor received only the lines he spoke, and the end of the preceding line from the character who spoke before to cue him.


 Actors gather in the park Saturday evening for a single rehearsal before performing. Just as in Shakespeare's day, there is no director. Actors work together to collaboratively stage and rehearse the material.
At the Globe, actors probably received line readings from a coach as they memorized, but typically only gathered for rehearsal on the day of the performance to practice any staged combat or dancing.


 The workshops are open enrollment and are supported by donations and a small cover fee. Seasoned actors and first-timers alike are all welcome to join in the adventure and exploration of Shakespeare's brilliant works.


  The Globe Theatre in London was closer to a small, open-air arena than to the indoor, climate controlled theatres of today. Our workshops are rehearsed and performed outdoors whenever possible--even when it is a bit chilly. 


 Costuming in Shakespeare's day was rarely accurate according to time and place, but often an amalgamation of contemporary garb layered with accents suggestive of character and setting.
Our actors are invited to bring any costume pieces that suit their roles, and in addition, we supply simple accents that denote character and provide some continuity for the audience. 

Women were forbidden from the base and vulgar profession of acting in Elizabethan England, and as a result, all roles were played by men.
To experience what sort of interest, spectacle, and humor this situation can provide, our workshops are cast gender-blind.

If you are interested in participating in one of our upcoming workshops, send us an e-mail at:

More pics here!