Thursday, December 20, 2012

Meet the Cast!

With 8 days left til we open, it's time to meet some of our talented actors! Without further ado, meet:

as Caliban and Boatswain

Once upon a time, Steven Pond saw a Grassroots show, turned to his wife, and said "I have to be in one." Three months later, he's type-cast as a creepy half-monster rapist. Be careful what you wish for.
His other theatrical credits include Topper in HCTO's "Christmas Carol", Lumiere in "Beauty and the Beast", Thenardier in "Les Mis: School Edition", and Master Ford in "Merry Wives." Thanks go out to all his friends and family coming to see the show (if you're not coming, you're not thanked), and especially to his lovely wife Christine for enduring him as a husband for the past year and a bit. Happy Christmas!

Stay tuned to meet the rest of our team.

Meet the Cast!

With 9 days left til we open, it's time to meet some of our talented actors! Without further ado, meet:

as Antonio and Stephano

Photo: Meet the cast! Introducing Andy Hansen as Antonio and Stephano in GSC's production of The Tempest. The play shows on Dec 28th, 29th, Jan 4th, and 5th at the Masonic Temple at 7:30. 

This is Andy Hansen's first production with Grassroots, and he couldn't be more excited! Andy has been involved in theater since he was a young beardless lad, and strives to share his passion of theater with the world!

This is Andy Hansen's first production with Grassroots, and he couldn't be more excited! Andy has been involved in theater since he was a young beardless lad, and strives to share his passion of theater with the world!

Stay tuned to meet the rest of our team.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tempest Tickets Now Online!

Tickets are now available for the Tempest! Click HERE to order them. It's cheaper to order online and we also offer a ticket bundle of four for twenty dollars for online orders, so take advantage of that. You don't want to miss seeing a show in this beautiful venue.

This is the Gothic Room at the Masonic Temple where we will be performing!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Christmas Tidings!

Some exciting things are happening for us this Christmas season at Grassroots. We have just started up our official newsletter with info on auditions, historical tidbits on Shakespeare, and much much more. For those of you who aren't on our newsletter list yet, you can sign up here

Our show this Christmas, for those of you who don't know yet is going to be:

Nothing says Christmas like this show. Magic, mystery, love, and an old bearded man who punishes the naughty and rewards the nice? Sounds mighty similar to another jolly fellow, doesn't it? We'll be performing this show at the magnificent Masonic Temple in Salt Lake and will be posting more info as it comes. 

On our newsletter we talked a little bit about Elizabethan Christmas traditions, and here on the blog we wanted to share a delicious recipe that we found from the Tudor era. This is a very adaptable recipe and can me made with milk instead of almonds, fruit instead of rose petals, or any other variations you want to try. It's impressive yet simple. So here we go!

Servings: 4

Prep time: 15-20 min plus overnight set time for jelly. Add a day if making almond milk.

This recipe can be made with milk for those with nut allergies. For those who don't have time to make the almond milk can also just add some almond extract to the milk to give it a nice almonds taste.

Almond Milk:
  • 1 cup of ground almond 
  • 1cup rice flour moistened with 2 1/3 cups of water.
Milk Jelly
  • Almond milk (or pint of full fat milk)
  • 2-3 leaves of gelatin
  • a little more than 1/4 cup of sugar
Fruit jelly
  • pint of juice, wine, or other fruity beverage
  • 1 leaf of gelatin
  • rose petals or rose water (optional)
To make Almond Milk: (Note: You need to make this the day before)

  • Cover the ground almonds with the boiling water, stand for 15 mins, rub through sieve/ cloth. Straining trough a cloth produces a smoother milk. If it is a bit thin- add rice flour and warm in a pan until it thickens.Cool and put in the fridge overnight. Almond milk goes bad quickly so don't keep this around for long.

To make the Leach:
Milk Jelly (make this first):
  1. Soak the gelatine leaves in water
  2. Warm the milk/ Almond milk ( do not boil)
  3. Add the gelatine and stir until disolved
  4. Pour into glasses and set overnight ( Putting it in the fridge helps)
Fruit Jelly:
  1. Soak the gelatine leaf
  2. Warm the juice 
  3. Disolve the gelatine in the juice
  4. Chop and add the rose petals or a teaspoon of rosewater (pieces of fruit are a good substitute if you don't like the idea of rose!)
  5. Leave to go cold
  6. Spoon the cold mixture onto the set milk pudding and return to the fridge to set
  7. Once both parts are set, decorate and serve. 
It was common to cover this dessert with gold leaf, and you can find edible gold at your local baking supply store, but for those who want something a little less flashy, raspberries are a fine garnish to pair this with. 

Happy Holidays and bon appetit!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Letter from London

There's nothing quite like assembling a new cast for a Grassroots production, especially when you know it's going to be comprised of actors entirely new to the Grassroots way of working! It is exciting in the way you might feel going on an adventure; you're not sure what you will get once you've launched into uncharted seas but you know it is going to be a lot of fun!

Natalie Harper (Leonata) and Daisy Ward (Hero/ Seacole)
Grassroots Shakespeare London is currently in rehearsals for a new production of 'Much Ado About Nothing'. Following three nights at the Scoop at More London and two performances on the Dell stage at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon in June, it was decided to give the show a longer airing. With a two week slot already booked in August for Victoria Embankment Gardens and such a buzz building around the Company, the team voted to bring 'Ado' back, but with only one member available for the second run (me!), the show had to be entirely re-cast.

And what a fantastic cast we have ended up with! I am absolutely delighted!

Everybody is just wonderful, full of enthusiasm and brimming with masses of talent and creativity. It is so exciting to make my way to rehearsals of an evening and I certainly count the hours down until I can head off to our venue to get started!

It is particularly exciting, having been in both productions, to see the brilliant new ideas people are coming up with, their solutions to blocking, their fresh readings of lines and how they are bringing their characters to life in an entirely original way. It says so much about their intelligence and huge capacities as actors.

Sophie Littler (Don John/ Sexton) & Hamza Mohsin (Borachio/ Antonio)
As an Elizabethan original practices company, we work without a director as was the tradition of the time. This is something that modern actors can find difficult to adapt to, having spent their whole lives being directed around the stage to meet somebody else's vision of a play. At Grassroots, we love to let our actors' imaginations thrive and we create a supportive environment where we help each other to direct and devise scenes. It has been fantastic to see how this cast has just taken to this style, having never worked with it before, and are so positive, encouraging and supportive. It is honestly heart-warming. As one cast member said last night, "We're just like a family", and I couldn't agree more! I feel very lucky to not only be able to get to perform with this great group but get to know everybody too. It's like being ridiculously lucky every single day.

We open on Monday 30th July at Victoria Embankment Gardens. The show starts at 7pm and we would love to see you there! I'll keep you updated with Letters from London as we go along. No plot spoilers, I promise!

Love from London,


Keep Grassroots Growing!

From all of us at the Grassroots Shakespeare Company, THANK YOU for your support during this summer tour!  We couldn't have done it without you, our friends and fans.

Our not-so-secret goal as a company is to double the size of our audience every year.  In '09, about 600 people saw Grassroots perform.  In '10, our audience swelled to roughly 1,200.  Last year about 2,500 people saw our various productions.  So far this year... well, we're just over halfway to our goal of 5,000 audience members.

We need your help!  We have some big plans in the works to try and reach our goal, but all our hard work only pays off when you tell your friends about Grassroots.  Spread the word, invite people to our shows, and together we can create a genuinely popular kind of theatre!  Theatre that everyone enjoys.

Thanks again, and stay tuned for big things to come!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Have You Seen This Yet?

Does that sound like something you can get behind?
Help us spread the word by re-posting this link to your blog or Facebook page:
Click the link to learn more!

Monday, April 9, 2012

What's next for the Grassroots Stage?

Have you ever found yourself wondering how you could possibly make your amazing touring stage even more amazing? Us too!!!

Here's a review of our visual aesthetic since our first touring year.

Our humble beginnings included four pillars and a roped off playing space.

Our second stage consisted of a cloth hung up between two ladders with an honorary bench and the dear old rope.

That's when UVU stepped in with a GEL grant to help us build our model for an authentic Elizabethan touring stage, pictured here in our show at the Masonic Temple.

So now we're thinking of giving our touring stage a face lift. Alex has been doing some research and found various examples of touring set ups from the Elizabethan, Jacobean and Restoration periods. What he's come up with, might look something like this:

Cool right? I know I for one was geeking out when I saw it. I also loved this quote from Alex on our discussion board, "The more I learn about Elizabethan aesthetics, the more convinced I become of it's propensity for ornate quality, intricate detail, and rich/gaudy impact."
It's gonna be an exciting summer!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

So there was this one time...

So there was this one time our incredible mentor Kate McPherson decided it would be a good idea for Grassroots to host THE premiere original-practice scholar Tiffany Stern.

So a few weeks ago we drove down to UVU's field station in Capitol Reef National Park to spend time with her. Literally without the influence of her scholarship the ideas the started grassroots wouldn't have existed.

We learned about what got her into her research. As she told it, she was about 18 when her uncle invited her to research early modern rehearsal methods for his original Shakespeare company. From then on she found a special niche in scholarly research and became the leading scholar on the topic.

In the morning we demonstrated our rehearsal process for her, working a scene from Hamlet and performing one of our dumb shows from As You Like It. Her response to our work was very encouraging. She loved our exploration of relationship with the audience, and was SO excited to see a touring stage on Barrels!

We had a wonderful time in Capitol Reef. It happens to be one of the best places in the world for star-gazing. I must say, arriving at 3 in the morning, laying on the stage and looking at the stars was one of my highlights in a long history of wonderful grassroots memories.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Mission Statement!

Check out our new Mission Statement, and let us know what you think!


Grassroots is a collaborative touring ensemble of multi-disciplinary artists who create joyous, vibrant productions inspired by Shakespeare's original staging techniques. Through open-air performances, interactive workshops, and scholarly events, we produce and promote genuinely engaging, popular, and relevant theatre.


You can learn more about our mission here.