Some insights into her acting process from Sarah Tryon from our production of Measure for Measure.
1) When creating a Shakespeare character, do you start from the “outside” (voice and physicality) or the “inside” (relationships and motivations)? Why?
When I first get my hands on a script, I like to decode the text and find out who my character is, who they talk to, how they feel about who they talk to, how they are influenced by events, and how they fit into the play itself. However, with the role of Escalus, I knew that I would have to do a lot of vocal work to conceal my feminine voice. And I would also need to decide how old I want him to be so that it can inform my physicality.
2) Is there anything about Shakespeare’s language you find especially helpful in preparing for a role? Anything that is always challenging?
Shakespeare really gives his actors a lot. I find scansion is really the best tool for me. If my character is speaking in verse it could be because of he or her status or there is heightened emotion, etc.
3) How do you prepare differently for an ensemble directed production versus a production with a director?
For an ensemble show, I more often decide on something I want to try in a scene before rehearsal, whereas with a director, I’m more likely to try what they want me to try.
4) What is your favorite “Original Practice” (audience contact, cross-gendered casting, live music and sound, etc.) and what exactly do you love about it?
Audience contact because plays are for the audience so why ignore them?
5) What is your dream Shakespearean role?
I’d like to play Viola again, but I would love to play Beatrice, Ophelia, Cassius, Feste, and pretty much every other character …