When Taimus asked Duncan and I to jump on board with this crazy idea I would have been happy to play to a couple of hundred people.
Three years on and SBTL is at a level of success I could not have imagined.
This year Lakespeare finally bore some fruit from our labours and it came during the audition process. We had a bevy of talented Canberra actors knocking on the audition room door, keen and eager to join the Lakespeare team. We were in the very fortunate position of being able to cast the show almost three times over.
This year we also thought it might be time to give Canberra a break from the two of us on stage and to allow the company to grow by opening up all parts for audition. The dream of Lakespeare is to have a company of 15 or so Canberra actors, all expertly trained in verse, who can opt into our summer show and be paid for presenting the Bard to Canberra. A mark of success for me will be when someone in Sydney or Melbourne asks a Lakespeare actor ‘Where did you learn how to manage the text like that?’ and they can promptly reply ‘In Canberra’.
Lakespeare were able to pay all creatives in 2019 and this year, due to financial stress, we had to drop down our paid positions and instead offer cast a contra deal of training in verse, voice and acting.
I urge Canberra to get behind this initiative. Lakespeare want to develop audiences, we want to develop actors, we want to develop the professional industry in our town. It’s wildly ambitious but every creative silently agrees to be a leader and the long lasting leaders are disruptive.
Change our town with us. Spread the word but most of all, enjoy the show.