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Artist Interview #8: THIS ENGLAND's Jak Watson

"I remember when I saw my first Shakespeare play live at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It was Macbeth and the lead actor was a black man named Peter Macon. It had never dawned on me that I had never seen a black actor play a Shakespearean lead. I realized how limitless Shakespeare was and I couldn't wait to explore for myself."

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Artist Interview #6: THIS ENGLAND's Jack Plowe

"Lady Anne is a challenge because she's a young woman and I am very much not. Playing her is a stretch outside of my comfort zone, which is always exciting, and even though she only has one scene where she speaks, the arc of that scene with Richard III is incredibly intense. She goes from mourning her husband and father-in-law to agreeing to marry the man who killed them. It took a lot of work and a lot of weird rehearsals where we flipped the power dynamics or tried odd styles, but the end result has been amazing."

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Artist Interview #5: THIS ENGLAND's Graham Miles

SH: Which of your characters do you feel the most connected to? Why?

GM: It's Richard III, hands down. I think there's something admirable about a character who doesn't embrace the superficiality and insincerity of the social order around him, and who manages to succeed in spite of that. If Richard has any quality worth emulating, I think it's that one, and I love tapping into his guilt-free sense of total irreverence for custom and decorum.

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Artist Interview #4: THIS ENGLAND's Shannon Stowe

Strange Harbor: What do you most enjoy about watching and performing Shakespeare?

Shannon Stowe: It is a visceral experience. Performing Shakespeare requires total commitment of body, voice, and mind. If you hold back even ONE little bit, you feel it. In a way it requires abandon and trust in the language. As a performer, it's a great and rewarding challenge to do that.

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Artist Interview #3: THIS ENGLAND's Heather Lee Rogers

Strange Harbor: What discovery in rehearsal most surprised you?

Heather Lee Rogers: In an early reading I thought I was clever by giving Erpingham a funny old man voice,  making him a cute old knight. Then I learned he was a TOTAL BADASS! His military career went back to Edward the Black Prince and in the battle of Agincourt HE was the commander of the long bow archers (i.e. the force that won the battle)!

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Artist Interview #2: THIS ENGLAND's Mackenzie Knapp

Strange Harbor:  What has been the hardest challenge in working on this play?

Mackenzie Knapp: Giving yourself over to trusting the ensemble to carry the play is a courageous act. When you pass the ball without looking you need to trust that someone is going to be on the other end of that pass to catch it. It is so difficult to cultivate that level of trust, but once you do it's fantastic.

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Artist Interview #1: THIS ENGLAND's Megan Lee

Strange Harbor:  What do you most enjoy about watching and performing Shakespeare?

Megan Lee:  Shakespeare is always surprising. There is always an element that you have never heard before no matter how many times you have seen or read a play. That is what is so exciting about This England, it provides a wonderful opportunity to see the grand scope of the story. Being able to zoom out and see the entire arc instead of just the small moments.