Actors from the Other Side of the Pond to perform at SMC This Weekend

Shakespeare lovers rejoice! This Saturday night, a performance of "The Winter's Tale" by the Actors From The London Stage will take place at 7 p.m. at the new Broad Stage.

Actors Robert Montford, Eunice Roberts, Bill Hoyland, Erin Brodie and Matt Douglas held a Q & A session at the Concert Hall yesterday to talk more about the play to students.

Presented by the SMC Associates and introduced by the Chair of the English Department Susan Sterr, the Shakespearian actors spoke to the crowd of students who attended the event.

The actors each talked a little about how they got involved with the AFTLS, a troupe of London actors that have been around since 1975. The actors auditioned to be in the tour, which always has at least two "veterans" in the staff to help the newer actors acclimate to their intensive schedule.

Besides putting on the play, the AFTLS visited and will visit different SMC classrooms to talk more about their experiences as actors in their 10 weeks 10 cities US tour. The company puts a play twice a year, during the spring and the fall, for eight to ten weeks.

The five actors divide amongst themselves the 22 characters in the play. "We do not cut (parts of the play) to make it convenient for five people" said Montford who plays, among others the lead King Leontes.

"What makes us different from other plays is that we have no director." Brodie said.
"That allows us to be our choice and our decisions, not looking over at the director who has the ultimate decision. This makes us unique" Roberts added, As well as no director and minimal props and costumes, and all of us are on the stage all the time.
When asked if they improvise or change any of the play in order to give it a different spin, Hoyland said "Our job is not to have a new vision of it, our job is to tell the story."

But what about those who don't understand the old English used in the play that may scare some people away? "Don't try to take in every word." Montford said. What I used to do when I didn't understand the language is to whisper to myself. Eventually I began to understand what Shakespeare was trying to say."

If you have never seen a play by Shakespeare this is the opportunity to see it in a more intimate way, don't miss this rare chance.