Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Ghostly Encounter

This true encounter shared by, Brenna Brown

The moon was out, I had not heard a clock. 

“Are you sure you will be okay?” Christine asked. She was one of those “mother hen” type of people; her heart of gold would never allow her to leave someone on their own no matter how alluring the thought of going out with the rest of the cast  for food sounded.

“I just have to lock up the restrooms. I’ll be fine.” 

I climbed the stone steps to the restrooms and dressing rooms as Steven and Christine drove away, watching at a particularly large moth throw himself at an unforgiving light. The sickly yellow glow of the seductress light illuminated four doors. Four doors that required the keys in my hand so that the castle could be freed from any living annoyance. 

I heard a rustling in the bushes to my right. I looking through the leaves hoping to catch a glance at the family of deer who frequented the area around the castle grounds but the only thing looking back at me was the black of the night.

A clicking from deep inside the dark abyss that was the men's restroom bade me to look inside. “Anyone in here?” I called into the empty space. No reply.

A cold chill ran down my spine as an autumn wind crawled across the ground, disturbing the fallen leaves as they lay dead on the ground.

A light was left on inside of the women's dressing room. I quickly went inside, flipped the switch, and bolted out. Taking great caution  to not look in the mirror for fear of seeing the unexplainable. 

As I jabbed the key into the last lock of the four doors a strange feeling came over me. The feeling not of being watched, but observed. As if I were being studied, evaluated, or analyzed. Another rustling in the bushes made my curiosity flee and leave only my fear behind. I sprinted after my courage, hoping to catch it in my car. Relieved to find that I had forgotten to lock my car doors again I threw myself into the driver seat and started the ignition. 
A sigh of relief escaped my lips as I locked myself inside the strawberry scented sanctuary that was my little Mazda 6. I plugged my aux cord into my phone, opened Youtube, and selected my “Rob Starks” playlist. As I pulled out of the upper parking lot Rob sang me a song he wrote when he was seventeen or eighteen.
"In the air, in the air, we won’t have a thought or care abou-"

Buffering. Stupid Youtube.

I glanced at my phone to ensure I was in range of service and upon lifting my eyes to the narrow winding road again my heart stopped.  

I drove passed what appeared to be the mirage of a tall figure walking to the castle but vanished before making it to the other side of the road. The air caught in my throat. My heart began to race. My hands glued to the steering wheel. I slammed on the gas and tore my way down the curving road. My voice screamed only inside my head for my lungs had lost the power to draw air. My mind argued with itself. There is no way- How could I have seen- No. It couldn’t have happened.

But as I sit here now, looking back on that Saturday night, there is no longer doubt in my mind. I saw a ghost. 

Is the castle haunted? Come see MACBETH this Halloween weekend to find out for yourself (if you dare).

. . . make sure to bring a friend. . . 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Unsex Me Here: Finding Lady Macbeth

by Jordan Kramer

One of my favorite original practices the Grassroots Shakespeare Company incorporates into their shows is cross-gender casting. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea that Shakespeare’s heroines were originally played by young men and I love the idea that if I had lived in Elizabethan England, I could have had a shot playing Ophelia or Juliet. 

I was fortunate enough to have been involved in Grassroots’ first production of Macbeth back in 2011 where I was cast as one of the three witches (all of whom were played by men). I absolutely relished that role and although I spent a considerable amount time and money trying to create the illusion of femininity for my character, the fact that I was playing other (male) roles meant that I was limited in how far I could take my appearance. 

Since that experience, I’ve always hoped for another chance to play a female role in a Grassroots show, so I was thrilled and slightly terrified when the opportunity to take on the role of Lady Macbeth presented itself. I was determined that I would use what little time and what limited abilities I had to make this an experience that would be satisfying for both myself and the audience. 

One of the biggest challenges the Grassroots experience presents to me is the lack of a director. I can be pretty insecure as an actor and I tend to depend heavily on a director to answer questions that I have about my character and whether or not my choices are being read properly on stage. However, having so many women in the cast has been a tremendous help to my process because I can ask any or all of them at any time for feedback about my character, especially in regards to the female illusion I have tried to create. I wanted to make sure my vocal patterns, posture, gestures, and every bit of my behavior was lending itself to that illusion and my castmates were an invaluable resource in that process; correcting and giving advice about things that never would have occurred to me.

Something I have noticed is that getting into costume really helps to push me into a pseudo-female headspace. The clothing that I wear in the show is not very comfortable or familiar to me and I constantly have to worry about tripping over my skirt or whether my wig is going to fall off or if touching my face will smear my makeup. While this limits the ways I move and carry my body, it also helps to redirect my physical choices into things that are more typically feminine. Additionally, simply looking at my altered appearance in the mirror as I put on each article of women’s clothing forces me to see myself as a different person. It becomes easier to shed my identity and assume the role of Lady Macbeth as it becomes more difficult to see Jordan in my reflection. 

Tapping into the psyche of Lady Macbeth was especially complicated in comparison with other Shakespearian women because the character chooses to specifically shun everything that is traditionally associated with the feminine. She literally calls upon supernatural forces to remove her womanhood in order to better accomplish her desire of obtaining the kingdom. In scenes where Lady Macbeth is especially harsh and domineering, it was difficult for me to maintain a feminine physicality and vocal pattern while making choices that would appear physically and verbally abusive. While women can definitely possess those traits, my mind would automatically conjure up masculine images to support those choices and I had to worker harder to figure out feminine examples of that behavior. One actress I drew inspiration from for these moments was Cate Blanchett in her portrayal of Lady Tremaine in Disney’s latest adaptation of Cinderella (a film which, some would say, I harbor a mild obsession for). Blanchett’s performance exquisitely embodied the cruel, domineering, power-hungry woman who could be simultaneously charming and extremely feminine that I wanted to see in Lady Macbeth. 

More than anything else I have wondered whether or not I possess something worth bringing to the character of Lady Macbeth. The role has been played by so many fantastic actresses over the years that it’s been easy for me, especially as a man, to feel inadequate, but this loving and talented cast has been an amazing source of support and reassurance to me. They’re the best reason to be a part of this show and I can’t wait to share all our hard work with you.

***Only three more chances to catch Jordan's Lady Macbeth. Please don't miss it:

Need more encouragement? Here's what audiences have to say:

"Jordan Kramer's performance of Lady-M is worth the price of admission alone!" 

 "Don't miss Jordan Kramer's fantastically spooky, extremely well drawn Lady Macbeth." 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Queen Elizabeth's make up--A Frightening History in beauty

by Emma Robinson

The cosmetics that were worn by women in the time of Queen Elizabeth are drastically different from those we wear today. Not only were the materials they used very different but the look they were trying to achieve was very different as well. Standards of beauty change all the time. To understand the cosmetics worn by Elizabethan women, it’s important to understand the effect they were trying to achieve—that “ideal” beauty they wanted to imitate. 

The ideal Elizabethan female had bright wide-set eyes, snow white skin, rosie cheeks, red lips and fair hair. Pale skin was a sign of nobility, wealth and delicacy was sought after by many. In a time where sunscreen was unheard of, skin problems and pox was a common thing smooth, unblemished skin was a rarity. 

Queen Elizabeth

The pale skin women (and men) wanted was achieved by a number of ways. The most popular being Venetian Ceruse (also known as Spirits of Saturn), a mixture of white lead and vinegar. This white foundation was applied to the face, neck and bosom. Naturally, smearing lead all over one’s skin caused some serious skin damage not only did it make the skin look “grey and shriveled” there was lead poisoning, hair loss and if used over an extended period of time could cause death.
They lined their eyes with black kohl to make them look darker and belladonna eyedrops (used to dilate women's pupils, an effect considered to be attractive and seductive). Fashion required eyebrows to be thin and arched which would create a high forehead it was considered to be a sign of aristocracy. Rouged cheeks and red lips were very popular. This was obtained with plants and animal dyes. 

This conglomerate of makeup would be kept on for at least a week and when they would finally take it off they would use rosewater, lemon juice or a mixture of eggshells, alum, mercury and honey. Many people felt that the mixture left their skin soft and supple. In reality the mixture was actually eating away their skin. 

Learning all this has made me not only grateful for the knowledgable advances in cosmetics that have happened but also has made me question what actually is beauty? And who decides this nonsense. Luckily I will not be doing any Elizabethan makeup for the role of Banquo in MacBeth it’ll mostly be bloody.

Get your tickets to this Halloween's Macbeth:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

An Experience Unlike Any Other

By Zahra Alnasser

Two weeks. Four hours of rehearsal every night. No director. 
To the average thespian, this may sound like a horrendous dream. Not only are you responsible for memorizing pages of Shakespearian dialogue, you also better be prepared with your own costume (or costumes, since you’ll most likely be playing multiple characters), props, makeup, set pieces, and marketing ideas for your show. Okay…but what about the play in itself? Who’s in charge of blocking? Helping actors make character choices? Developing a tone or concept for the play? 
You are, my friend. Yes, you. Welcome to the Grassroots Shakespeare Company. 
My name is Zahra and this is my first production with GSC. Never in my limited theatrical journey have I ever encountered a process such as this, and never again will I find another one like it. Here I will explain to you what it’s like experiencing Grassroots for the first time as a young and na├»ve actress entering the terrifyingly spectacular world of theater. But before we begin, let me give you a run-down of what EXACTLY we do here at Grassroots Shakespeare…

The Process
As mentioned earlier, Grassroots allots about two weeks for rehearsal time dedicated to blocking scenes and then cleaning the tough spots while also incorporating costumes, makeup, set, and music. Two weeks. TWO WEEKS. But it’s possible! How? Lots of dedication. Our actors go into this knowing exactly how much time in and out of rehearsal they will spend on making sure they are up to date on all of their personal deadlines (costumes, props, memorization…) so that rehearsal time is spent purely on working the acting and technical aspects of the production. 
My Experience Are you stressed out yet? Well, you should be! It’s extremely stressful, but it’s also challenging, which is exactly what every actor needs at some point in his/her career. Grassroots teaches you to consider every ingredient in the baking of a production—you’re not JUST an actor, you’re not JUST a designer, you’re not JUST a director. You’re all of these and more. You are a parent, a coach, a mentor. You push your cast just as hard as you push yourself. You come to rehearsal with all of your deadlines met, your lines memorized, and a positive attitude. The cast becomes your family, which means that while you’re constantly surrounded by unconditional love and support, times can get tense… You might be wondering: so how do a bunch of actors manage to successfully direct each other every night without tearing at each other’s throats by some point? Well, it’s easy, really. It’s all in the way you phrase what you say. Instead of using authoritative phrases such as:
“You should…” “Don’t do that…”
“I want you to do this instead…”

I was introduced to using kinder critique, which includes:
“I wonder if you could …” “Could you consider trying such and such…” “Maybe you could explore this rout…”

This is the ideal way we go about directing each other. Of course, as we are humans, every so often feelings can get hurt, which weakens our binding as a team and slows our process. However, the amount of love and reassurance I’ve given and received as a member of this cast has been so overwhelming to the point where petty things like this are incapable of phasing us. This is one of the most tightly-knit casts I’ve ever had the blessing of being a part, and every single thing we’ve done together adds to the beautifully weird production we’ve created. This, what I’m learning, is the spirit of Grassroots. The stress, the dirty jokes, the late nights, the tears, the fake blood, the real blood, and the unity among the cast. This is Grassroots Shakespeare, people. And have we got a show for you.

The show opens FRIDAY! Don't wait to get your tickets: 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Shh. . .Don't Say M*cbeth! The History of The Scottish Curse

by Kat Webb

Every actor knows better than to say the name "Macbeth" when in the theater.

It's a tradition, one I first learned in high school. While the reasoning was unclear, all that I knew was that when the name "Macbeth" was spoken during a  rehearsal of Guys and Dolls, we had a fifty pound sand bag fall from the catwalk and nearly take out our Adelaide. Such incidents are not isolated. Every actor I've met has a story about awful accidents happening after the uttering of "Macbeth." There's some discrepancy between actors as to the absolute nature of the curse--stronger incidence of misfortune seems prevalent in performance of The Scottish Play itself, while some are superstitious enough to believe that simply saying the name "Macbeth" while in a theater is cursed.

7 of the most famous tales of woe associated with performance include:

1. It is rumored that the inaugural performance of Macbeth in 1606  nearly fell through when the actor playing Lady Macbeth got incredibly sick and died. Shakespeare himself is said to have stepped into the role. Rumor suggests that the King at the time (a distant relative of Banquo) disliked the play so much that it was hardly performed in the century that followed.

2. The actor playing King Duncan was accidentally killed in a performance in 1672, when the actor playing Macbeth accidentally used a real knife instead of a prop to kill the king.

3. President Lincoln is said to have brought a copy of Macbeth along a trip down the Potomac River in 1865,  and read some passages that follow the scene where Duncan is assassinated. He was killed a week later within the theater. 

4. Laurence Olivier nearly died in a 1937 production of Macbeth, when a weight fell from the ceiling and just barely missed him. And, while he made it out all right, the unfortunate actress playing Lady Macbeth and their director were severely injured in a car crash on the way to the theater. 

5. In 1942, one particular production suffered a total five deaths: Duncan and two of the Weird Sisters, along with the suicides of the costume and set designer.

6. A 1970 production of Macbeth saw the lead get hit in the eye with a sword, and a Lady Macbeth with the flu that spread to the entire cast. Five understudies were needed.

7. Alec Baldwin, in 1998, managed to slice open the hand of his MacDuff during their Off-Broadway run. Ouch.

But why all the mishap and misfortune associated with this play? Some believe that the spells cast by the Weird Sisters contain magic enough to summon dark airs to the theater, that inviting magic on stage is enough to tempt fate. Inclusion of the character Hecate-- Greek goddess of witchcraft, ghosts, and magic--only seems to intensify the effects of this curse. The witches from whom Shakespeare borrowed the lines are reported to have seen the show and were so offended at their rituals being portrayed on stage that they cursed the show. Others believe that simple hazing among actors is what "curses" this play. Veteran actors, trying to spook newbies to the theater, make up stories of woe and tragedy. Others still believe that Macbeth was such a crowd pleaser, guaranteed to bring in an audience, that only a theater on the brink of financial ruin would pull out this show. As it was so popular, failing playhouses were guaranteed revenue from patrons--but only as a last resort. 

Whatever the origin and whatever the direct nature of the curse, actors are almost all aware of the curse surrounding Macbeth. I've been in many a production, and there's always that one person that insists on shouting "Macbeth" the second we're in the theater--and those who are just as quick to hush them. A few remedies exist to counteract the curse, though whether or not it's enough to combat the fated nature of this play remains to be seen. What can you do to counteract the ill effects of Macbeth? Precedent suggests that making the offender leave, perform a cleansing ritual, and then be invited back into the theater are enough to combat tragedy. This cleaning may include spinning around three times, spitting over one's left shoulder, pouring salt over the shoulder, or quoting lines from Hamlet--"angels and ministers of grace defend us!"--to oust any present demons. 

Whether or not the curse is real, I tend to veer on the side of precaution. I've seen enough happen to actors that I prefer not to risk it, though, given that we're in performance of the play itself, that may be unavoidable. Our own cast has already dealt with a hair coloring mishap and a rock cutting the leg of a board member and we're only two days into rehearsal. What else may follow remains to be seen. Let's cross our fingers something more dire doesn't befall this cast . . . or the audience. 

If you dare tempt fate, tickets can be found at

. . . Maybe bring a pinch of salt with you just in case . . . 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

5 Reasons to Audition for our Halloween Show, 'The Revenger's Tragedy'

Written by GSC Board Member, Daniel Fenton Anderson:

Auditions for The Grassroots Shakespeare Company’s fifth annual Halloween show are coming up. So I thought I’d write a few reasons why this is an audition you wont want to miss. You can sign up for an audition time HERE.

1.  Tis the season: Every year there are a slew of spooky shows going on in the valley, and any actor would be remiss if they didn’t take part in one! Like Christmas shows, Halloween shows have a special feel right from day one and Grassroots is no different. Finding ways to highlight and play with the ooky and spooky in our Halloween shows makes this my favorite slot in our season.

2.  The audience is like no other: If you’ve ever seen a Grassroots show, then you know that audiences are a character in the show just as much as the actors, and it’s in our Halloween show that we really get to play with them. Our Halloween audiences are some of our loudest, cleverest, and most responsive. They didn’t come for a nice night in a cozy theatre; they brave the elements to go to the castle and see an EVENT. They howl at the moon, they gleefully wait to be spooked, and some even wear white in hopes to get some stage blood doused on them, which also happens semi frequently in this slot.

3.  Your resume gets a nice boost: As an actor, getting some classical work under your belt is really a boon to your performing skills. On top of that, withThe Revenger’s Tragedy, you get to add a Jacobean play to your resume that isn’t Shakespeare. That doesn’t happen very often, and it’s a nice conversation starter at future auditions!

4.  You get to be in charge of your own show: With Grassroots, we strive to build shows as an ensemble. That means many of the creative decisions of the show will be up to the group. This ends up being a total blast during Halloween. I remember in       
     In Richard III, we were trying to figure out what to do to stage some death scenes that are only talked about in the script. After putting our heads together, we ended up with a horrifying mix of fake entrails, chainsaws, and blood all over both the stage and the audience. It was awesome. And even in our less bloody shows, like Doctor Faustus, we found great ways to really raise some hell…literally in that case!

5.  You get to perform in a unique venue: The castle amphitheater in Provo is the perfect mood setter for Halloween. Stone seating, turrets, and a winding drive up to the base of the mountain do half the work of making things spooky for our show. The weather may get nippy, but you’ll be bundled in layers, and so full of adrenaline that it won’t matter. Trust me, one year we had a freak blast of snow blow through, which once combined with the fake blood left on stage turned our set into a cherry snow cone ice rink. Even with all of that combined, (and don’t worry, that’s not usually the norm) it remains one of my favorite shows, just because everyone there was having a blast. Even the audience.

So sign up HERE, and bring a short monologue or sonnet to auditions this Friday, August 28th. Don’t worry if you haven’t done Shakespeare before, and don’t worry if your monologue isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread. We’re all just a bunch of actors, looking to experiment with making Shakespeare fun, relevant, and in the case of this show… a little bit terrifying! 

More details on our website HERE
Questions? Email us at

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mark Oram: Romeo and Juliet 2015

Written by Romeo and Juliet cast member and Grassroots Shakespeare Company All-Star, Mark Oram:

My favorite part of the Grassroots process is the collaborative, actor-led rehearsals. Rather than looking to a sole director to guide the play, we work together as an equally-invested group of actors to bring out the most in each moment. When it works, it is an invigorating experience. Nobody is sitting off to the side of the rehearsal room just waiting for their cue. Everyone is completely engaged in creating the best theatre they can. This is the feeling that inspired the creation of the Grassroots Shakespeare Company, and it’s the same feeling that keeps me coming back for more!

As I’ve reviewed the part of Lord Capulet for this production, I’ve noticed even more examples of his extreme changeableness. It seems that Shakespeare either couldn’t settle on the character’s function within the story, or (more likely) that his function is to illustrate the source of Juliet’s capriciousness.  If Capulet were a more steady, predictable, level-headed individual, perhaps this story would end happily.  But people are not always surrounded by the influences they need, and Juliet’s behavior seems to indicate that she has inherited at least some of her father’s impulsiveness.

Mark will be playing Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. 

More about Mark Oram:

Mark Oram is an English, Theatre, and Shakespeare teacher at Corner Canyon High School and Co-Founder of the Grassroots Shakespeare Company. He has an MFA in Staging Shakespeare from the University of Exeter, where he studied voice, movement, text, and directing at the Globe Theatre. Mark has performed with the Seattle Shakespeare Company, Sundance Summer Theatre, BYU Young Company Shakespeare Troupe, Hale Center Theatre Orem, and Grassroots Shakespeare London.

Our Valentines Day production of Romeo and Juliet will have a very limited run from Feb 13th-14th at the Ladies Literary Club (850 E South Temple) in Salt Lake City. 

Get your tickets now HERE

Monday, February 9, 2015

Davey Morrison Dillard: Romeo and Juliet 2015

Written by Romeo and Juliet cast member and Grassroots Shakespeare Company All-Star, Davey Morrison Dillard:

Shakespeare's company didn't seem to have much of a formal rehearsal process. They didn't seem to need it. 

Sources indicate that, at least in some cases, the only rehearsals for the entire company were to block fights and jigs--the most choreographed and cast-heavy scenes in the plays. Other scenes may have been worked out one-on-one between scene partners, if at all. It's difficult for most actors to imagine performing a show with such a potentially limited rehearsal period, but, when you might be debuting a new show every night, it would have been necessary. And, as a repertory company, Shakespeare's actors would have developed a number of tools to enable this sort of process.

As members of a repertory company, the members of the King's Men probably saw each other every day. Shakespeare himself reworked familiar characters and relationships and variations on similar scenes throughout much of his work, so that, for example, William Kempe could take much of what he used as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream and easily adapt it for Dogberry's scenes in Much Ado About Nothing just a few years later. Indeed, for decades the performances in these plays were passed down from one generation to the next, from masters to their apprentices, down to very specific movements and gestures.

While not strictly a repertory company, The Grassroots Shakespeare Company has maintained a number of familiar faces of the last several years, and, like Shakespeare, we have stuck with a strict policy of typecasting. Grassroots regulars have learned whether they are better suited to heroes or to villains, to clowns or to kings, and, in the process, we have also developed a kind of shorthand for staging. Putting an arm around a character and leading them down to the front of the stage suggests a secret. Certain lazzis (or stock gags) become familiar and easy to block. A challenge looks a certain way, while a surrender looks different. Raising your arms to the crowd encourages their applause. That sort of thing. Armed with these sorts of tools, rehearsing a play in twelve hours over the course of three days, as we are doing with Romeo & Juliet this year, is still a daunting task, but not at all an impossible one--it becomes an invigorating challenge.

At the time of this writing, two weeks before our show will have closed, we have not yet started to rehearse. We have not had a reading of the script--we have never even officially met as a company. I've never played this role, I'm still figuring out my character, I'm still working on solidifying my lines, and I'm brainstorming ideas for my costume. But there's one thing standing between me and abject terror, and that's the trust I've developed working with these company members over the past several years. These are some of the best actors, some of the most brilliant minds, and some of the kindest, funniest, smartest, most giving people I know, and I'd trust each of them with my life. In two weeks, we'll all be getting up on a stage together in front of an audience, and it will be that trust that keeps us afloat. A company like this feels like a family, and there's a sense of spontaneity and excitement that comes from discovering a show on its feet. 

Ultimately, none of us is ever ready for anything, on stage or off. "Ready" is a myth. At some point, we just have to jump off the cliff.

I'm grateful to the members of this company for teaching me to take the plunge.

Davey will be playing Paris in Romeo and Juliet. 

More about Davey Morrison Dillard:

Davey Morrison Dillard has been with Grassroots since its very first show in 2009. Since then, Davey has performed in ten different Grassroots productions, playing Richard III, Katherina Minola, Dogberry, Polonius, Touchstone, Feste, and Hermia (among others). Film credits include Alexis Thrill (WELCOME TO THE RUBBER ROOM), The Eel (MYTHICA), and The Writer (EUGENIE). When he's not acting, Davey is probably writing something, directing something, watching a movie, or sleeping.

Our Valentines Day production of Romeo and Juliet will have a very limited run from Feb 13th-14th at the Ladies Literary Club (850 E South Temple) in Salt Lake City. 

Get your tickets now HERE

Daniel Fenton Anderson: Romeo and Juliet 2015

Written by Romeo and Juliet cast member and Grassroots Shakespeare Company All-Star, Daniel Fenton Anderson:

This year has been a great year for Grassroots. We've got a lot of great things coming for the next season, we've officially become a 501 (c) (3) non-profit company, and we've started expansion on our set (more to come on that). With all the great momentum our company has going, I'm so excited that we're working on Romeo & Juliet again for this Valentine's weekend. It was one of our first shows and is a great reminder that no matter what happens, at our core we are dedicated to the same experiment that we were engaged in the first time we told the story of these star-crossed lovers: exploring and recreating Shakespeare's plays in an authentic style. 

One of the aspects of this style that I love is how quick our shows pull together. This show will have less than a week before we have an audience--much like Shakespeare's plays would have been rehearsed. Even the story of this play is wound tight under the looming face of time. The whole events of Romeo & Juliet take place in a total of five days. Five days! That's nothing! And that's what I find so exciting. We put these shows together under such a tight deadline, with such minimal resources, and yet we strive to do it with such passion and desire to share that passion with others. Each of these shows is a gargantuan labour of love, and I can't wait to share what I love with people this Valentine's Day. 

Daniel will be playing the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet. 

More about Daniel Fenton Anderson:

Daniel Fenton Anderson is currently a student at UVU and is a founding member of The Grassroots Shakespeare Company. Some of his favorite past roles include: Prospero in The Tempest, Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Pedro in The Man of La Mancha and Pap in Big RiverFind Daniel online at

Our Valentines Day production of Romeo and Juliet will have a very limited run from Feb 13th-14th at the Ladies Literary Club (850 E South Temple) in Salt Lake City. 

Get your tickets now HERE

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Aubrey Wilde: Romeo and Juliet 2015

Written by Romeo and Juliet cast member and Grassroots Shakespeare Company All-Star, Aubrey Wilde:

I have loved working with Grassroots on and off the stage. This is my first time back on stage in 3 years, so I’m a bit nervous. But reuniting with my old friend, Juliet, is really fun. You will only get to play your dream roles a few times, so cherish them while you can. 

I love the Grassroots process, and we are truly a family because of it! The collaboration that goes into every project is amazing, and it gives our shows a different feel than others. Everyone has an equal say in the product we show you, and every insight and idea helps us reach our end goal. I love the fact that we return to the text and see what is really going on rather than apply modern concepts. This tale is timeless, and that’s how we intend to tell it. I have loved going back to Juliet and finding new meanings and insights after three years of life experience and study. 

Aubrey will be playing Juliet in Romeo and Juliet

More about Aubrey Wilde:

This is Aubrey’s first show back with The Grassroots Shakespeare Co since Hamlet, Halloween 2012. During this time, she has worked administratively with GSC and is finishing up her BA in Theatre Performance at UVU. Some of her favorite UVU roles have been Eurydice in Eurydice, and Bianca in Taming of the Shrew.  Favorite Grassroots roles include Juliet, Ophelia, and Viola. 

"I'm excited to walk down memory lane with Juliet once again and get back on the GSC stage!"

Our Valentines Day production of Romeo and Juliet will have a very limited run from Feb 13th-14th at the Ladies Literary Club (850 E South Temple) in Salt Lake City. 

Get your tickets now HERE

Monday, February 2, 2015

Alex Ungerman: Romeo and Juliet 2015

Written by Romeo and Juliet cast member and Grassroots Shakespeare Company All-Star, Alex Ungerman:


What’s your favorite part of the Grassroots rehearsal process?

We frequently receive criticism that our shows “could use a director,” but one of my favorite things about creating with Grassroots is the liveliness and vitality that emerge in the absence of a singular vision.
 When we’ve got a good cast of people who are confident in their art and are willing to really dig in and play, that’s when the magic happens. Seeing the myriad of ideas and perspectives that pour out in rapid-fire succession during a Grassroots rehearsal is a masterclass in directorial approaches. So, even though we don’t have a director for our shows, I feel I’ve learned more about effective directing––about what does and doesn’t work––from participating in our shows than anywhere else.

How are you approaching the role of the Prince in this production?

Even though the Prince appears only briefly, his powerful presence reverberates through the story. It’s clear to me that the Prince is one of Shakespeare’s idealized versions of benevolent nobility. The Prince is a good guy––merciful to a fault––but ultimately unable to restrain the violence of his subjects or shield them from the ensuing consequences. I’m approaching his role as peacekeeper in the story as “good cop” and seeing where that sort of imagery will take me.

Alex will be playing The Prince in Romeo and Juliet

More about Alex Ungerman:

Alex Ungerman is co-founder of the Grassroots Shakespeare Company (Utah) and Grassroots Shakespeare Alabama. 'Romeo and Juliet' will be the eleventh Grassroots show he has appeared in. Some of his favorite roles from Shakespeare include: Pericles, Orsino, Benedick, Orlando, and Jacques. Aside from Grassroots, favorite touring experiences include BYU Young Company, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Our Valentines Day run of Romeo and Juliet will have a very limited run from Feb 13th-14th at the Ladies Literary Club (850 E South Temple) in Salt Lake City. 

Get your tickets now HERE

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Kyle Oram: Romeo and Juliet 2015

Written by Romeo and Juliet cast member and Grassroots Shakespeare Company All-Star, Kyle Oram:

Getting to work with exceptional people has always been a key benefit of Grassroots, but what I've loved most about the process is that applying principles of original practice seems to reveal hidden gems throughout the play. We end up discovering ways in which Shakespeare’s original audiences likely experienced his theater. 

For example, questions posed by characters that may appear rhetorical to the modern reader, seem to have had a direct link instead to the audience. Romeo queries, “Can I go forward when my heart his here?” and later, “Shall I hear more or shall I speak at this?” In the absence of the 19th-century convention of the fourth wall, it seems likely such questions must have elicited a response from the boisterous Elizabethan crowds. Indeed, it is this interplay between player and spectator that has shaped the discoveries and style of our company. 

We aim to please the crowd, embodying the language with clarity and a shared sense of purpose with our audience--to inhabit the theatrical space together and better grasp the wit and heart of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. 

Kyle will be playing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. 

More about Kyle Oram:

It was the Shakespeare's Globe 2005 production of Pericles in London that sparked Kyle's interest in the rehearsal and performance conditions of the early modern theater. Since then, Kyle has appeared in 14 Grassroots productions and completed an internship at the American Shakespeare Center in Stanton, Virginia. A graduate of the UVU Theatre Arts program, he played in the award-winning Eurydice, Tinney's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (a title he took to heart in his subsequent success as a consultant with Utah's highest rated solar company--SolarTek), and Gilbert and Sullivan's infamous romp, The Mikado.

"This production is flooded with some of the greatest talents I know, so I'll be doing my best to keep up. Enjoy the show!"

Our Valentines Day run of Romeo and Juliet will have a very limited run from Feb 13th-14th at the Ladies Literary Club (850 E South Temple) in Salt Lake City. 

Get your tickets now HERE