This week we hear from Morgan Springsteen, who is currently acting in The Tempest.

As is always true in life, for everything there must be a beginning, for each path a starting point.  My interest in theatre stretches back as far as I can remember.  However, I remember distinctly the first time I stepped onto a stage and decided, almost instantaneously, that acting was my passion.  This production of The Tempest marks another first for me.  This is my first time acting in one of Shakespeare’s plays.  It is an experience unlike anything I have ever had in many ways, some which I have found challenging, all of which I have found exciting.

Working with Pigeon Creek requires a level of self-management that I had not yet experienced working in educational theatre at Grand Valley.  A major reason for this is that this show was ensemble directed.  Ultimately, what we as actors choose to put on the stage is our choice.  However, we are dependent on the cast as a whole to make sure that everything looks cohesive and makes sense.  In order to be a functional and effective cog in the machine, you must be willing to take constructive criticism you’re your peers and not be afraid to give it out.  As a novice to Shakespearean acting, it was difficult at first to pipe up and give direction.  However, as my understanding of the process grew, so too did my confidence.

Another thing that sets this experience apart is that I am playing multiple small roles, on top of understudying the role of Ariel.  Trying to flesh out the characters of a salty mouthed sailor (the Boatswain), an eager and optimistic lord in the company of the king (Adrian), and a rainbow goddess at the marriage of Ferdinand and Miranda (Iris) requires a keen sense of contrast.  It has been fun finding the nuances of each character and discovering what makes each one stand out from the others.

On top of these three parts, it has been an added challenge to keep track and learn all of the things Ariel is in charge of throughout the play.  I am still working to find the balance between following the character Kate has fleshed out and still allowing room for my own interpretation.  I am excited to tackle the role in a few weeks when we head to Toledo, and I only hope my performance lives up to Kate’s.

This truly has been a hugely valuable experience.  I’m sure I will find myself comparing this production with new theatre experiences as they come along.  I am so glad I got to work with this amazing group of people and put together a show that I not only feel much attached to, but extremely proud of.