By Sloane Henry, Artistic Learning intern
Internpalooza delivered on everything its name promised. Lots of interns. Lots of paloozing. The only things more gorgeous than the weather were the bright and smiley faces of eager young interns who, of course, always look that happy when asked to get up at 7am to hear lectures all day.
But seriously, I enjoyed listening to all of our guest speakers at this second annual event, which Cal Shakes organized as a professional development opportunity for its own interns as well as those from Marin Theatre Company, San Jose Rep, Berkeley Rep, and Livermore Shakespeare. This year’s event took place at our own Bruns Amphitheater and featured presentations from experts in casting, fundraising, and other areas of the theater world.
The highlight of my day was watching a staged reading of Toil and/or Trouble. The author, Lauren Gunderson, was present along with the director, Josh Costello. The cast included Michael Barrett Austin, who I had seen just days earlier in the Hapgood Theatre’s Imaginary Love. The show was a hilarious and modern take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The language used in the show bounced between very modern slang like “totes” to traditional original Shakespearean text. It was really incredible to be able to ask the author about her process and choices in the piece while examining the purpose and techniques for staging and performing a new work. As the actor who played Adam (Banquo/Macduff) said: “We cannot walk and talk at the same time. We have to choose one or the other.” The actors communicated the script beautifully despite the hassle of having a script in their hand.
The takeaway points from the staged reading were: 1. You don’t have to justify anything. “Just because” is good enough. 2. Staged readings are a great way to get calls for jobs in full productions for actors. 3. Don’t fall into the trap of giving the actors too much blocking. 4. When you do readings you get to meet more people than you would doing a full production = connections = phone calls = paying jobs.
I think I speak for all the interns when I say we were exhausted by the end of the day. We ate burritos and quesadillas in the grove and many of the interns stayed for that night’s performance of Titus. It was really nice to meet interns from other theaters and have a chance to network and make connections.
Photos by Laura Neill.