Monday, February 7, 2011


Since I was going to be spending November and December away from Los Angeles, I had to hold Shakespeare Club auditions in October to have a group ready to start in January of 2011.

I made my way, classroom to classroom, with fliers in hand and my pitch ready to go. There are two third-grade classes, two fourth-grade classes and one fifth-grade class.

"Hello, my name is Ms. Ryane and I run The Shakespeare Club. Did anyone here see 'Macbeth' last May?"

The buzz about this program has incrementally increased over its five years of existence. As I was here to pitch the sixth year, kids were up and leaping out of their chairs, arms flailing in the air and bursting to answer my question.

"Good, so you know about The Shakespeare Club. Here's the deal: when you saw 'Macbeth' or 'Twelfth Night' the year before, you saw kids onstage telling an interesting story through their acting. I know that looks super-fun, but there's a lot of hard work involved. Those kids did months of yoga, voice work, journal writing and learning lots of lines. You have to ask yourself if that kind of hard work is for you."

Ask an actor if he can ride a horse and you'll get an adamant YES.

Can you do a Bulgarian accent? ABSOLUTELY.

Would you be willing to ride a motorcycle at 100 miles per hour and fly off over the Grand Canyon? I'VE DONE THAT A MILLION TIMES.

This is no different. The boys see swords and they want to hold them. The girls see lights and they want to be in them.

"All right then. Here in this flier, you'll see four lines for the boys' audition and four lines for the girls'. Work on those. You don't have to learn them by heart but you have to do a good reading in your biggest voice. Here's what I'm looking for: eager-beaver kids for our production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' "

"Excuse me...excuse me...." His skinny arm was flying back and forth over his head as if he were a drowning sailor. "EXCUSE ME!"

"Yes? First, what's your name?"


"Okay, Alfie, you have a question?"

"Does it cost?"

"No, Shakespeare Club does not cost. It's free. Okay, guys, next week I'll come here and get anyone who wants to audition, but you must have your parent or guardian fill in this part of the form to audition, okay? Bye now."

"Excuse me...excuse me...EXCUSE ME!"

"Yes, Alfie, you had another thought?"

"Does it say, right on the paper thing...does it say it doesn't cost, 'cause my mom says it costs!"

"Yes, Alfie. Right here, see? It says FREE. You show that to your mom."

Eager beaver. There he is. I want him.


I wanted to be in Shakspeare Club because I such a good time last year. The preformance last year was so fun. Last year I had roses thrown at me. William Shaskpeare is so interesting to me. I have a lot of questions for Mr. Shaskpeare. I feel like digging up his body and revitlizing him.
Oliver, 5th grade


  1. I have a funny feeling Alfie already knows a bit about what it's all about!


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