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Royal Shakespeare Company visits the Actor’s Education in Stockholm

03/10/2019

On October 7-10, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Education Department will hold a workshop for students on the Actor’s Education at Stockholm University of the Arts.
“Shakespeare remains one of the most exciting storytellers. I hope the students will gain a greater understanding of Shakespeare and his significance today”, says Josette Bushell-Mingo, Head of the Department of Acting at Stockholm University of the Arts.

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Josette Bushell-Mingo

For four days, 14 students in the Acting Program will participate in a workshop led by Doctor Tracy Irish and Tom King of RSC Education.
“We have a very practical approach to Shakespeare's language. We work by standing up, reading the text aloud and playing with the text” says Tom King, theater director and responsible for the international education programme at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Play with the language
He says that when it comes to interpreting Shakespeare, actors can be encouraged to experiment and play with the language much like Shakespeare did.
“One simple way to achieve this, is to get the actors speaking rather than reading the language, on their feet. By physicalising the phrases, they respond to the innate rhythms of the words and give life to the images in the text”, says Tom King, who thinks it will be very exciting to see how the actors in Stockholm react to this approach.
“We often feel we learn as much from the people we are working with as they learn from us”, he points out.
He also believes that Shakespeare deals with fundamental themes and characters that are just as relevant today as they were when they were written.
“The language is so rich in detail that it provides many avenues for interpretation and invites actors to bring their perspective into the rehearsal room”, says Tom King.

Still up to date
Josette Bushell-Mingo is the Head of the Department of Acting and responsible for the Actor’s Education. She believes that Shakespeare remains one of the most interesting and provocative storytellers.
“His works are important not only because of their history and relevance today, but because of the problems and challenges it raises from gender to social histories. Shakepeare is a platform to explore humanity and its challenges, in unique languge”, she says.
She hopes that the collaboration with RSC Education will give the students an understanding about how Shakespeare works, both in terms of context and structure. She also hopes that they will have the opportunity to discourse around the challenges of playing Shakespeare and the relevance of him today.

Plans for collaboration
Stockholm University of the Arts has thoughts of a longer-term collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company Education Department.
“There is an interest from both sides to explore a future collaboration, but first we want to see how this initial project together works”, says Josette Bushell-Mingo.