Sun 6 Feb 2011
Joel L. Schindlbeck again… So, I’ve been working with the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company for over 10 years now and never have had a more difficult accent to master than what I’m currently learning. I’m preparing the role of Sir Hugh Evans, the Welsh parson, for The Merry Wives of Windsor. A dopey, good-natured, religious type (and appropriately genderless, as well) is no problem at all for me. One of the first things I learned in professional theatre, is “know your type”. That’ll keep the bills paid a little easilier.
However, our little teddy-bear Evans here has a thick and pointedly South Welsh accent. From the minor research I’ve done so far, that accent is perhaps one of the closest to a (no offence to the Welsh who read this) lazy, Midwestern American accent. However, it’s the vowels and the sing-song nature throwing me off. My text coach, Katherine Mayberry, is getting me a CD, and she’s always there to help me with my words in general, so I’m not too worried. But still, it’s strange that a character can be so easily “type cast” and yet have to carry such a difficult accent. But, it’s early in rehearsal, and I work better taking things step-by-step. So we’ll see about that…
In other news, I’m organizing all the costumes for the play. We’ve chosen the Renaissance, and my sempsters (myself included) are up to our elbows in jacquard prints, chiffon, corduroy and velvet, velvet, velvet.
The citizens of Windsor are quite the vivid and amalgamated bunch, from tight-corseted matrons to disguised husbands. We’re building jerkins, doublets, hoses, bonnets, robes and dresses, all in brilliant earth tones, that will fill the space around them like a cloud of colour and history. I think, my internet friends, that you are in store for a lush romp of tomfoolery!