Rep Company Member, Elle M. Luckstead, answers our first round of acting questions.
1. How do you typically go about preparing a Shakespearean character?
My character preparation involves reading and re-reading lines, paying attention to who my scene partners are and establishing connections with their characters. Developing a back-story–especially for less significant characters–helps create motivations for all of their actions. By that, I mean putting motivation behind every move (e.g.: why is my character walking away/toward this person at this moment?) Physical motivation, emotional motivation, whether the words my character speaks are sincere, sarcastic, flat, designed to pull a particular emotion out of my partner, etc. Specific to Shakespeare, of course, is prose/verse writing. If my character switches between the two throughout the play, you must pay strict attention to which style they speak with which characters and why.
2. What do you find to be the most helpful part of PCSC’s standard rehearsal process?
I have a feeling that this answer will be unanimous, but the most valuable part of Pigeon Creek’s rehearsals is the ensemble (Specifically the ensemble directing of shows, but I mean “ensemble” as in the entire process is team-based.) That means that as an actor, you get productive feedback from a lot of directions, but also that everyone contributes equally to create the final product and has the opportunity to have their voice heard in the process. Aside from that, PC spends a good deal of time working through the text before jumping into action. Beginning rehearsals often consist of read-throughs and partner line-work so that we can build and understand the words first and foremost, which is so important with Shakespeare.
3. What do you like to do for fun outside of theatre?
I like to travel, read, write, amateurly analyze politics (I run a political and a feminist blog), and stumble upon internet things. I’ll choose going out with friends or staying in with a movie depending on my mood.)
4. What is your day job? What do you want to be your day job?
I am a full-time student by day, supplemented by unpaid internships. I guess I would say my “job” is my current internship at my university’s Women’s Center. I am the undergraduate VAWA Grant intern (Violence Against Women Act) –a federal grant that funds projects and events for Domestic Violence Awareness month. If I were paid for this position, I could do it for the rest of my life. My ultimate dream-job is working in Human Rights or Social Work with domestic violence victims and survivors, which I will accomplish once I have my master’s degree down the road!
5. What theatre plans do you have in the next couple months?
Unfortunately, my acting plans have taken a backseat to my academics as of late (I’m a senior psychology major doing psychology and graduate school prep-type things.) But my internship with the Women’s Center will give exposure to some great theatrical involvement this fall. ReAct is an on-campus theatre troupe that promotes anti-violence through scene performances, so we’ll be working closely with them at times. We are also hosting a production of Remote Control, an interactive play designed to raise questions and encourage men (and women) to step into abuse-prevention roles. Besides that, I will be happily/nostalgically attending upcoming Pigeon Creek and Grand Valley performances to cheer on my friends and cast-mates.