It is beautifully full circle that my first Shakespeare - I was Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet, senior year of high school - and my first post-college Shakespeare, were Assistant Directed by Nick Neyeloff, someone who first helped me find the beauty of communicating Shakespeare's words on the stage. To be clear this was actually my second Shakespeare, I was in scenes and did readings in class in college but the Shakespeare always conflicted with something else I was lucky enough to be cast in.
To say I was thrilled to be cast as Regan in Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe's production of King Lear is an understatement. I always wanted to figure out what made this woman tick and to try to give her more dimension than - manipulative psychopath who has her husband take out some guy's eyes because he disobeyed her orders to not help her poor old dad with dementia. I think I was able to adequately flesh her out and make her into a real person, who is smart and plays her strengths and switches her tactics to get what she wants.
My Regan didn't think she was going to get any of the kingdom. It was either going to Goneril because she is the oldest or Cordelia because she is the favorite. When she has the taste of power she doesn't want to let it go. She also always needs someone to fight beside her (which is why I chose intertwined wolves for my symbol) and when her husband is killed she obviously gravitates toward Edmund. Is Regan in the right for the way she treats the people around he? NO, but I think I was able to take her on a journey; a journey that was different every night because the more comfortable we all became with the piece, the more discoveries we were able to make about our characters and their relationships to one another. It is truly a gift when a cast can take what the Director (thank you Annegret) and creative team give us and then not just stop at what their asking but continue to grow find something new, intreguing, and true to the play at every performance.