It’s spring break and the cast of The Tempest are taking a well-deserved break from scheduled rehearsals before Dress rehearsals next week. With only two weeks left to go, we caught up with the three actors who plays Ariel: Khoi Do, Bella Gabor and Emily Harley.
“The Tempest” will be on stage in the James Barr Performing Arts Center on Friday April 28 and Saturday April 29 at 7pm and Sunday April 30 at 1pm. Buy your tickets at the door: Adults $8, Students $7.
Khoi, The Tempest is unique in that this production has aerial dance in it: both the silks and the lyra. What is the most difficult routine you have to do in The Tempest?
The most difficult routine for me is the second routine in act 1 scene 2 because it is the longest one with the most poses, additionally, were speaking at the same time.
Emily, last year you learned the aerial slings in Peter Pan and the Girl who Grew Up. How are the Aerial silks different from the Aerial Slings?
Coming from Aerial Slings last year to Aerial Silks this year, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Oh my gosh it was hard. I think when it comes to Aerial Silks you can do (from my knowledge) basically everything you can do with Aerial Slings. But with Aerial Slings you can’t do everything you can do with Aerial Silks. I believe that though both are challenging, Aerial Silks is a bit more challenging than Aerial Slings.
Bella, what is it like working with two other actors who you need to be connected to as a character?
The most difficult thing for me is connecting with the character itself. I have always found that I can make some sort of intimate connection with the character that I’m playing, but with three people you have to think about all the different personalities that each person has. It’s not just you who has to make that personal connection it’s three people, and you’re not making that connection with just the character you’re also trying to connect with the two other people. It’s very difficult and I have struggled a lot with this character, it has been quite a challenge. Trying to blend all our personalities into one person is another very difficult task that I have found myself struggling with. Each one of us has very definite, and loud characteristics. It’s almost like a three way tug of war. We all have these amazing ideas that we want to bring to life, there’s just a lot of voices.
The one part I have enjoyed is the bonding. We have become so close as a unit, and although we are still lost in places, we are definitely together in spirit. We bring each other up, as well as bring each other down. All in all I can say it has been a very interesting experience.
For everyone, what is it like working with Andrea?
Khoi: Andrea is such a delightful coach. She knows exactly what we need as her students and assists us in the best ways possible. Her kind and sweet personality on top of it just makes the experience that much better.
Bella: Working with Andrea is amazing. She’s so supportive, and encouraging, it feels really satisfying when you finally get that one move.
Emily: Working with Andrea is such a delight. She knows when to push us when we don’t think we can do something, and she knows when we need to take a few and go back at it again. The way she teaches us makes me feel like I can ask any question and not be embarrassed about asking it. I think that has to do with her wonderful personality.
How do you get through a routine when it hurts and you are tired?
Khoi: Whenever we’re tired we just take a short break then get right back to work because sooner or later we’ll have to perform for three nights in a row
Emily: It is super hard to get through a routine when it hurts or if I’m super winded. I want to give up, and come down. I think all of us have really come to know our bodies, and know when we need to come down and take a quick break or when we can push ourselves to get through the routine.
Bella: The one thing that fueled me through the routine is just thinking about how good I probably look up there, which also boosted my self confidence.
What is it like to dance and work with text
Khoi: Shakespeare’s The Tempest has allowed us to explore our bodies and movements in ways that we never got to before. There is always that freedom to let ourselves go and concentrate on the masterpiece we’re all working towards.
Emily: Dancing and working with the text together is hard. Especially when you don’t quite understand the text. But working through the text together really helps and being able to have others weigh in on what they think the texts means really helps my understanding which later can be translated into dance.
Bella: It’s hard working with the text. There are times where I don’t even know what I’m saying. There are also so many ways that you can portray a certain line or word, it’s just a lot of ideas.
How did you split up Ariel’s lines and what was your reasoning?
Khoi: Lines were split up depending on their context. Each line was assigned to the Ariel possessing the personality that would best portray that line. Bella plays the naughty and immature personality, I am kind and Emily is the mature one.
Emily: We split up our lines based on the Ariel we play. We usually say short lines together, but if the content of the line really pertains to a certain Ariel, that Ariel should say it.