In Part Two of our series of interviews with the cast of Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet, meet Audrey Bertaux.
Joel: How did you become involved with this production of Hamlet? What did you perform at your audition?
I got to know Sally and Annapolis Shakespeare Company after stepping in last minute to their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream this past winter. In my callback for Ophelia we worked on nearly all of her scenes in the play, and it became clear that we were really on the same page in terms of who Ophelia was.
Why did you want to play the role of Ophelia, and what is the most fun about playing her?
Ophelia is a dream role for me and also quite a challenge, which is very exciting. Ophelia is a young woman who doesn’t get the opportunity to develop into the person she might have become because she is treated as a child, manipulated, and even abused by everyone around her and ultimately this destroys her. The story of an abused young woman whose voice has been taken away is a modern one, and an incredibly relevant one. Because of this it is important her story is told, and for me it has been really fascinating and enjoyable to discover how to do that.
What are some of the suggestions that Sally has given you on playing your role that has made your performance better?
Sally encourages all of us to be incredibly specific in the choices we make onstage. She is really having us zoom in to focus on each moment fully, which is incredibly helpful.
What do you admire about the design of the show and how does the design of the show enhance your performance?
I love the serious of frames that will hang upstage, allowing for montages and little moments to appear within them. This will allow for the audience to see a little more of Ophelia’s story. The frames will lend a sort of “behind the scenes look” to moments of her life offstage.
When did you get the ‘Theater Bug’? Where did you get your theatre training?
My parents sent me to Shakespeare camp at age 10 and I was hooked from there! I have a BA in Theatre from Butler University and just completed my MFA last year at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting.
What other Shakespearean roles have you played and other than your character here, which other character in Hamlet is your favorite?
Most recently I played Mariana in Measure for Measure, directed by Robert Richmond, which was an amazing experience. Some other favorites I have been fortunate enough to play are Sylvia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Calphurnia, and Caska in Julius Caesar, and Helena, Titania, and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
My favorite character is Hamlet- definitely an actor’s dream role ( and one I’d love to play sometime )! In his own words, the character truly does “hold a mirror up to nature.”
What are your favorite lines that another character recites? What are your favorite lines that you recite?
My favorite lines are spoken by Hamlet at the end of the play:
There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.
My own favorite line is in the mad scene:
“Lord, we know what we are but know not what we may be.”
They hold a special meaning for me about the power of transformation, and our inability to know what the future holds for us.
What do you admire most about your fellow cast members’ performances and each other’s performance?
This is such a fabulous cast. Everyone is so willing to play and make big choices, that rehearsal is wonderfully creative space. That is very special to have in a rehearsal process.
Which character in the play is most like you and why?
I think I see myself in Hamlet, but I think that is what is so powerful about how the playing written! I think coming to see the show, everyone in the audience will be able to see parts of themselves in Hamlet and in other characters.
How can 2014 audiences relate to Hamlet…?
Hamlet is a play about morality, life, death, love, and how the choices we make define us- I think we can all relate to struggling with all of these things!
What roles that you haven’t played yet are on your top 5 list?
Joan in Henry VI Part 1
Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.
Cassius in Julius Caesar.
Nina in The Seagull.
Rosalind in As You Like It.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you perform in Hamlet?
I want them to take away their own opinions, emotions, questions, and thoughts about the characters! I’m sure it will be different for everyone and I hope it will provoke a few discussions on the ride home!
Meet the Director and Cast of ‘Hamlet’ at Annapolis Shakespeare Company: Part 1: Manu Kumasi.