After a July run in The Brick’s “Shakespeare in the Theater” festival, This England is extending for four more performances August 25-28 at our old home, IRT Theater. As we prepared for this second run, we sat down with our actors to find out why they love performing Shakespeare, what their favorite moments from the show are, and (most importantly), who they side with in the Wars of the Roses.
Our next interview is with Strange Harbor veteran Kendra Slack, who performed in our workshop of She Took Away His Head From Him at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2015 and choreographed Or, The Whale at South Oxford Space in 2014. In This England, Kendra plays King Edward V, Aumerle/York, Hotspur, Bates, Somerset, George of Clarence, and Tyrrel.
Strange Harbor: What do you most enjoy about watching and performing Shakespeare?
Kendra Slack: He is simply the best. When it comes to language, his is just so beautiful and visceral. He may not have told these stories first but he certainly made them the most human.
SH: Which of your characters do you feel the most connected to? Why?
KS: Hotspur. Though he and I are very different in many respects, the anger, the impatience, and the sense and need for fairness are all things I've been dealing with myself lately.
SH: What has been the hardest challenge in working on this play?
KS: Playing so many characters. I think one of the pitfalls that can really trap actors in a project like this is being unspecific. I have struggled from the beginning and continue to struggle to make each of my 7 characters as full as possible even within the very short amount of time they appear onstage.
SH: Do you have a favorite line or moment in the play?
KS: One of my favorite things to watch has been my fellow actor Jak Watson's portrayal of Henry IV. I have especially enjoyed seeing the evolution of his take on Henry's death scene - it's always a pleasure to witness.