‘The final character of any play is the audience’

Jamie Ann Romero is playing Viola de Lesseps, the fascinating muse of young Will Shakespeare, in “Shakespeare in Love” opening Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Romero, who played Juliet in “Romeo & Juliet” at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, is looking forward to playing both Romeo and Juliet in “Shakespeare in Love.” We chatted over lattes at Mix Bakeshop in Ashland.

EH: What is it like to work at OSF?

JR: It’s a great collaborative team process. You’ve got everything that you could possibly need. They have personal trainers; we have the Feldenkrais method to help realign your body; then there are voice and speech coaches and dialect help.

EH: How do you approach a play?

JR: What helps me is building it with fellow actors and the director. Christopher Liam Moore is a brilliant director. He’s really collaborative, he’s willing to hear ideas, and try different things. He has such a great eye. He knows what he wants, but he is willing to try other things too. Continue reading ‘The final character of any play is the audience’

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An artist’s responsibility to say something

Actor/Writer Cynthia Rogan will perform in Camelot Theatre’s next production, “Calendar Girls,” opening Feb. 8. Based on a true story and popular movie, the play tells about the making of a pin-up calendar by photographing ordinary middle-aged women. Rogan, a former blues singer from Mobile, Alabama, writes, acts, and performs improvisational theater in the Rogue Valley. We met at Starbucks on Bartlett Street in Medford.

EH: Tell me about your experience with improvisational theater.

CR: That is some scary stuff. You have to know when to start on something else. If it is not good, it is horrid. When you are in the moment, you don’t always know if it’s not working.

H: What do you do to prepare?

CR: Practicing with the people you’re working with is all you can really do to prepare for it. And even then, you never know what the audience is going to throw at you. The group you’re playing with has to be your net. If someone starts to fall, you catch them, and you give them something else to look at, to keep the members of the troupe going and to keep the audience interested. Improvisation is exhilarating. Continue reading An artist’s responsibility to say something