The Shakespeare project I: the actor’s perspective


Shakespeare can be elusive and difficult even to those who have been taught how to read his works. The texts are so multifaceted that reading the same piece over and over yields new insights and revelations each time. This is why I really liked it when we took the time to analyze the texts we were reading and really looked into the rhythm and the words of the piece. But we didn’t stop there. After analyzing the text, we immediately jumped in and started to work it. In our final session, we worked independently to create unique takes on a Shakespearean dialogue or monologue.

Shakespear_project_ Saga Arola Thespians Anonymous 2017

Personally, one of the most important things that I learned during the Shakespeare workshop is that Shakespeare doesn’t need to, nor should it, be done the same way each time, in the Queen’s English, as in some hopeless pursuit of the “true” Shakespeare. I believe that this is often the assumption, and the reason why so many are scared away from the Bard. But instead, I learned to see Shakespeare as a well of endless possibilities thanks to the open discussions and imaginative ways in which we went about tackling the texts.

Shakespear_project_ Saga Arola Thespians Anonymous 2017

Another important thing I learned was that every speech, every line, every movement has a purpose, and that it is the actor’s duty to know what that purpose is. Our director kept asking us over and over: “Why are you doing that? Why do you say that? What is the motive behind it?” and since “I just felt like it” wasn’t a sufficient answer, we really had to focus on why we did and said things the way we did.

Shakespear_project_ Saga Arola Thespians Anonymous 2017

Additionally, since there are so many possibilities with Shakespeare, and I had to become aware of the decisions I made and directions I took with the different texts, I learned much not only about Shakespeare, but about myself as an actor as well. And I believe that, thanks to the workshop and the many revelations I had during it, I am made a better actor. Also, there’s never too much Shakespeare in one’s life.

Photo credits to Saga Arola



Saga Arola has been an member of Thespians Anonymous since 2010 and currently she is the secretary. She has acted in previous productions as well as directed. ‘What shenanigans TA people will get into next?’ she is wondering with excitement.

Thespians Anonymous is an active, non-profit amateur drama group that aims to promote English language, culture and drama work in Finland. For more information about who we are and what we are doing visit Thespians Anonymous’ web page or follow us on our Facebook page.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *