Theater professors held Shakespeare Workshop

Assistant theater professor Sally Story helps theater senior  Christopher Cruz, visualize his monologue by pretending to be a dead body at the Kemp Center for the Arts on Nov. 4.

With only two MSU students in attendance, assistant theater professors Sally Story and Christie Maturo held their monthly Shakeshop: Actor’s Workshop at the Kemp Center for the Arts on Nov. 4.

“The theater department wants to do more community outreach. By doing this we can serve the community, and also the students,” Story said.

Story and Maturo said they hope to help the community better understand the works of Shakespeare and to make his plays less “scary” and more accessible.

“A lot of adults have always wanted to try acting but haven’t and this is a great outlet for them to do that,” Story said. “We’re not here to scold you on your acting, we’re here to help you understand Shakespeare and to have fun.”

By having an event that is open to the public, and not just the theater students, Maturo said she hopes to build a stronger relationship with the community. She said she hopes that by teaching people to understand the language, people will be more excited to support the department when a Shakespeare show is being put up.

“Hopefully they’ll say, ‘those people made Shakespeare easy to understand and not intimidating so let’s go watch that’,” Maturo said.

Even though there were only two students in attendance, the professors were unbothered and worked hands-on with the students that were in attendance. Theater senior Christopher Cruz was the first to seek out the professors’ help and came prepared with three monologues. After reading them aloud, Maturo gave her opinion on which monologue she liked, and Cruz settled on a scene from Henry VI after Richard had murdered Henry. At one point during his monologue Story even got on the ground to help Cruz visualize the moment.

Story said she is open to doing almost anything if it helps her students.

Cruz said he plans on attending the university/resident theatre associate auditions as a way to discover possible graduate programs and must have both a contemporary and classical monologue. Cruz used the Shakeshop as a way to help prepare for his upcoming auditions.

“Doing this was really beneficial and helped me connect to my piece,” Cruz said.

The Shakeshop is a free event that occurs the first Sunday of each month. The next workshop will occur on Dec. 2 in the basement classroom of the Kemp Center for the Arts.