Monday, October 13, 2014

Titus Andronicus 2014: Jessamyn Svensson "For real, this play is gruesome"

Post by Titus Andronicus Cast Member Jessamyn Svensson:

Titus Andronicus is a revenge tragedy. Plays like this are usually filled with people doing cruel, awful things to one another in extreme ways—limbs are often lost, people die bloody gruesome deaths both onstage and off, lots of lamenting, wailing, gnashing of teeth…etc. This play is no different.

The last time we did a bloody play was Richard III and in that play, we had the challenge of beefing up the blood and violence. We had to find ways to make it scary. On the flip side Titus has needed absolutely no help in the gore department, if anything we have had to figure out how to make some things a little less gruesome, which is an interesting position to be in. For real, this play is gruesome. It has all of the above and then some, which makes it a perfect show for a Halloween crowd. I have done 3 Halloween shows with Grassroots including this one and it has been the wildest ride from the beginning and will likely only amplify in its wildness when we include an audience.

I have come to be known by many members of the Grassroots Shakespeare Co. lovingly as “JessaMom” (clever, no?). I tend to worry about everyone’s feelings and well-being and worry if they have come to rehearsal dressed warmly enough, if they are getting sick…the usual fuss. So, in that spirit I will end thiblog post with a very parental suggestion:
Please, look into the deeper meaning of the gratuitous slaughter and violence that makes up the meat of this play. There is really important and applicable themes peppered throughout the show about rape culture, foreign policy, religious differences, cruelty and human nature and also interesting examples of differing schools of philosophical thought and duty.

Also, have a good time!

About Jessamyn Svensson:
Jessamyn will be playing Tamora & Nurse in Titus Andronicus

Jessamyn Svensson has been actively involved in Grassroots as an actor and producer since 2010. She was last seen on the Grassroots stage as Hermione and (finally!) bearded as the Old Shepherd in The Winter's Tale at the Masonic Temple in Salt Lake City. This will be Jessamyn's 3rd Halloween Grassroots show including Faustus and Richard III and literally cannot think of a better way to spend the Halloween season!

Titus Andronicus performs at the Castle Amphitheater in Provo Utah from Oct 17th-November 1st 2014. Tickets and Details HERE

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