Acting in the Raw

Photo by Jeanne RiceActress Katie Keane, who teaches drama at Chapman University, will be taking part in her fourth season of Shakespeare Orange County's summer season. This year, for the second straight year, she'll be doing it outside at the Festival Amphitheater in Garden Grove, portraying Titania in AMidsummerNight'sDreamand Isabella in MeasureforMeasure.We figured that just as an athlete must adjust to turf, an actor must adjust to bugs. We were right. We love that.

Well, vocally, you know you're going to have to fill a larger space, so you really have to be warmed up in order to not only project but also articulate. Plus, you have to be prepared for the unexpected. Last year, we had to compete with the fireworks from Disneyland. Actually, that really worked out well because they went off during a banquet scene in Macbeth,and it seemed like we had the whole thing planned. On the other hand, sometimes a car goes by blaring rap music. Well, there's nothing you can do with that. Or you'll have to walk into a swarm of gnats, and all you can think is, “Great, now I've got gnats stuck to my lip gloss.” It's times like that that you just have to stay focused. Doyousweatalotwhenyou'rewearingthoseheavycostumes?
You always have five or six water bottles offstage. It can be especially hard on the men since they'll have layer upon layer of armor and leather, and they'll just get drenched by sweat. Isittoughtokisssomeonedrenchedinsweat?
I almost don't notice anymore. It is interesting kissing someone and coming away with a face full of sweat. Still, I've been lucky. I had a pretty dry Macbeth. . . . Oh, I don't mean he was dry, you know, dull. I mean he just didn't sweat much! Gnats,sweat,whatkeepsyoucomingback?
Because it makes me feel like I'm acting, like I'm working on my craft. When you work in LA—in TV, movies—it's so easy to feel like a prop. You feel like your job is auditioning, and you get parts not on the strength of your acting but on the color of your eyes or hair. When I'm doing Shakespeare, I feel like I'm acting again. There was a moment in Macbethlast year, when my character says, “Come, thick night . . .” and I'm saying it into the night air. That was powerful. Inoticedthatyou'vesaid“Macbeth”severaltimes.IthoughtactorswereforbiddentosayMacbeth?
Only in the theater. I'm not in the theater.

Festival Amphitheater, 12740 Main St., Garden Grove, (714) 590-1575. A Midsummer Night's Dream, July 7-23 (Thurs.-Sat. evenings); Measure for Measure, Aug. 4-20 (Thurs.-Sat. evenings). CAll for times and ticket prices.

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