Saturday, July 16, 2011

In the Spotlight: Annalise Cain

Annalise Cain

Name: Annalise Cain

In Mainstage: Dorcas, Emilia. 
In Young Company: Perdita

Why Acting?
Because I love it probably more than any other intangible thing.

How and why did you get involved with Hampshire Shakespeare & this production?
I got involved in Hampshire Shakespeare through knowing the producer, Sean Landers, who taught Improv and Scene Study classes at my school. He told me to audition last year for the Tempest and I did. And I came back this year because I wanted to continue to familiarize myself with Shakespeare.

Annalise as Emily
in "Our Town"
Do you have a favorite role from any past productions?
Well, I recently played Emily in Ashfield Community Theater's production of Our Town. That was probably the greatest role I am going to have achieved for a long time. It's a great role because of all the big events the audience sees you go through, falling in love, getting married and dying. It was certainly a lot to live up to!

What is your Favorite Word?
I'm a pretty big fan of 'splendid'. 

What is your Least Favorite Word?
I don't know . . . I don't like the word 'tolerate' because it sounds pretty passive aggressive to me. 

What sound or noise do you love?

What sound or noise do you hate?
Fire Sirens.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Writing. I picked the two professions that will earn me the least amount of money. Aren't I an intelligent young individual!

What profession would you not like to do?
An accountant. I hate math.

What is your earliest memory of theater?
Probably the intense feeling of envy watching my older sister, Mia, light up the stage. My theory is I got into theater because I was jealous of the attention my sister received, and I just kind of stuck with it. Now its my greatest love. My parents also force fed me musicals at a young age, so that probably added something to the mix.

As Yelena Imanova Popova
"Chekhov on the Rocks with a Twist"
Why is Theatre Necessary?
Because its the best way to tell a story. It's good both for the audience and for the performers. It's good for the audience as a form of entertainment and maybe they'll even feel something or learn something along the way (that's the best kind of theater, when you learn something). And it’s good for the performers because you learn a lot about yourself through theater. To become someone else I think you have to examine who you are to change it onstage. It gives you insight into something you never thought you could grasp.

And as for why live theater is necessary along with film, I believe that there is a sort of excitement and presence that film actors can never achieve like live actors can. And that's fine. They are two fine mediums, I just think live theater is so magical in comparison.

Has performing Shakespeare given you any interesting insights into Shakespeare?
Interesting? To me, yes. To other people, I'm not so sure. But I'll take a whack at it. Over the last few months, I have been attempting to educate myself on theater by reading more plays, and I've read a heck of a lot of Ibsen. And reading his work made me realize how much he respected women. And the more I read and worked with Shakespeare the more I realized that Shakespeare really only used women as plot devices. He only used them when needed, hence the few roles for women, and he really only has two types of women. The pretty ones who tend to be well liked and kind, but tend to be soft spoken or even a little timid, and the strong women who either possess wit, or bravery and tend to always be annoying the other male characters. The pretty, nice women are always celebrated, and the strong, independent women are always shot down and 'tamed' (Taming of the Shrew is an excellent example). I think Shakespeare acknowledged women's presence in society, but I do not think he respected them. When I made this discovery, I decided that from now on, whenever I perform in Shakespeare's plays, it will be in attempt to create three dimensional characters and basically be showing Shakespeare that I can finish what he began.

"Pie in da Face"
with PVPA's
Headgear Comedy Troupe
What’s next for you?
Well, I will go back to Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public High School in the fall, which is my favorite place in the whole world. I will be taking Playwriting 101 and portioning when I perform my shows so as not to repeat last semester's insanity (I worked on 6 shows last semester). I will also be co-directing PVPA's comedy troupe Headgear, and we will be performing in March.

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