Meet The Cast of King Lear: Oswald
Where are you from? How did you get involved with Pigeon Creek?
I am from Holland, Michigan (though between college and now, have lived in Colorado, Utah and Germany!). I ended up auditioning for Pigeon Creek because I had a really strong urge to get back in to acting, after being away from theatre for seven years.
Where did you study acting?
I do not have a degree in theatre, nor have I ever studied acting. Ask me later, and my answer might change! I do hold a B.A. in Religion from Alma College. One of my strongest interests being in mythology and folklore.
What theatres have you worked with? Describe your favorite role/production:
Before I took a lengthy break from the stage, I had preformed in productions with West Ottawa Public Schools, the Holland Civic Theatre and the Red Barn Theatre in Saugatuck. My favorite production I took part in was all children's abridged performance of A Midsummer Nights Dream. It opened up my eyes to the fascinating characters involved in Shakespeare's works and allowed me to begin to delve heavily in to script and scene analysis.
What do you focus on in your free time?
A lot of stuff! Primarily, I keep it to cooking and reading though. I am working my way through a small anthology of 1950s plays right now.
I am working through reading the entire encyclopedia.
I enjoy watching the famous German language TV show 'Tartort'.
I like rolling out home made pasta when ever I have enough time to
Pick three adjectives that describe your major character.
1. Follower: First and foremost, Oswald is servant to Goneril. He is a model of loyalty, though unlike Kent, does not have the spine or stomach to properly call out his superiors when he feels they are in the wrong. Oswald seems to possess the worst kind of blind loyalty. As a result, this leads to Oswald's second characteristic:
2. Panderous: Through out the course of the show, Oswald spends all of his time "pandering" to meet the wishes and desires of those he serves. He is a man on constant missions, though never his own. All of this leads of to the last characteristic:
3. Powerless: Oswald has many instances where he sees the harms of the actions he has preformed. I truly believe that after the Duke of Cornwall puts Lear's servant (Kent) in the stocks, he immediately realizes the horrible effects his actions and demeanor may have others. What starts off as a seemingly harmless charge from Goneril of coming off cold to the King in his interactions, snow balls in the culmination of the mess we get in with the final scenes of the first act and King Lear absolutely distraught that his gentleman was treated so ill. If this wasn't enough, we feel the coldness from his daughters Goneril and Regan. All of this compounded is too much for Lear as he runs out in to a storm. Yet, even with all of this that happens, Oswald doesn't change his ways. We see him return in the second act, ever so willing to be a follower and pander to the wishes of those around him.
Speak briefly about the story of your character
Oswald is the loyal servant to Goneril, eldest daughter of King Lear. The juxtaposition of Oswald and Kent (who serves Lear), truly gives the audience a front row seat between what makes a loyal servant truly "good" or "bad". What starts off as a seemingly harmless act of treating Lear coldly, leads to a beef with Kent and finally having Kent being put in the stocks for beating Oswald. This culminates in the final scene of the first act, where Lear has a freak out about the stocks and his two daughters' coldness and decides to run away almost defeated, outside in stormy weather. But, as we see in the second act he decides to keep on the bad path, finally dying by the sword of Edgar as he tries to kill the wrongfully labelled traitor Gloucester.
Which aspect of PCSC's original practices is your favorite?
My favorite original practice would probably have to be the live music that Pigeon Creek incorporates in to the show. I think it not only sets the mood and focus for what is about to come, but it also provides an extra layer of depth and understanding of some of the major thematic elements of the play.
Dream Shakespeare role: Puck.