Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Summer Tour 2014- Dallin Halls: 'we all work together to create our shows from the ground up'

By 2014 Summer Tour cast member Dallin Halls:

One of the most exciting things about working with the Grassroots Shakespeare Company is the fact that we follow the original Shakespearean practice of group collaborative directing, rather than having one director, we all work together to create our shows from the ground up. This process starts from auditions, and goes all the way through to our performances. 

The Grassroots audition process was one of the most fun that I have ever had the privilege to participate in. Everyone invited for a callback gets together, performs a short Shakespeare monologue, then takes suggestions from the group on how to improve the piece, then performs the same monologue again, implementing some or all of the groups suggestions. After everyone has performed, we had the chance to vote for who we would like to work with, and the actors with the most votes are those who get cast in the shows. 

Then we went through a very similar process for casting the characters of the shows. Everyone votes on who we feel is best suited for certain characters. I was surprised at how easily it was to reach a solid group consensus on specific character casting, and now that we have been in rehearsal it is amazing at how perfectly cast the shows are! 

Something I love about acting is being able to develop specific characters and relationships with other characters. The Grassroots process makes this so much more fun and rewarding because we are able to work so closely with the other cast members at building and defining those relationships, not just for ourselves, but helping others do so as well. I have greatly benefited from the incredible suggestions from other cast members in this regard. 

My words don’t do the Grassroots process enough justice. The long and short of it is that I love being able to work so closely and learn so much from so many super talented actors. I can honestly say that I have never had as much fun working on a show as I have had working with this cast for the Summer Tour this year. I hope that everyone who is able to see our shows has as much fun watching them as we have as a cast putting them together!

About Dallin Halls:

Dallin is an acting major at BYU and is very excited to be working with Grassroots Shakespeare! He loves crime dramas, political action thrillers, and Celine Dion. His favorite activities include eating ice cream, laughing at stupid jokes, and taking long walks in the dark. His dream roles include John Proctor in The Crucible and anything in American Horror Story.

***Check out this video featuring Dallin Halls then come and see our shows! Details at and our Facebook Event. ***

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Summer Tour 2014- Steven Pond: 'The audience is as much a character in the play as any actor on stage.'

By 2014 Summer Tour cast member Steven Pond:


Shakespeare. Elevated language. High class drama. Theatre for the educated elite. 

Lies, lies, lies, lies, lies. 


One of the main things I love about how Grassroots does good ol' Willy Shakes' work is that we bring it back to the way it was originally done; not just in terms of structure (no director, no designers, no SM, etc.) or practice (limited rehearsal time, gender blind casting, public performances...), but in purpose. Shakespeare brought entertainment to the common folk. His plays were familiar, relevant, and relatable to his audiences. The language was that of the groundlings - those who paid a penny to stand in the mud at the front of the stage, and the same ones who may lynch you if they didn't like your performance. The play had to be more powerful than the smell of hundreds of unwashed bodies, more enticing than the women trying to earn coin by giving people more reason to wash, and more engaging than the drudgery of serf-dom-ship. 

While we have no kings to comment on or plagues to pine about, the stories Shakespeare wrote still resonate with us today. We still fall in love, we still fight for our beliefs, and we still find ourselves in horribly awkward situations with people we may not like very much. Presenting these stories in the way they were written - for the common folk, with the audience as much a character in the play as any actor on stage - provides for a unique theatrical experience that can be had nowhere else. 

With performances that grab your heart, emotions, and attention as if our lives depended on it, Grassroots Shakespeare is something you don't want to miss.


About Steven Pond:

After a brief performance hiatus, Steven is ecstatic to be back on the rickety Grassroots stage once again! Previous roles include Caliban in The Tempest, Hortensio in Taming of the Shrew, and Prince Harry in Henry IV part 1.

***Check out this video featuring Steven Pond then come and see our shows! Details at and our Facebook Event. ***