Advice to the Players is a theatre company that brings high school students together with professional actors and community members to mount Shakespearean and other classical productions. Lee Stockman joined when he was in high school. Now a full time carpenter, he’s been with the company for a decade. We spoke with him during a break from rehearsals for “Romeo and Juliet.”
Stockman: I was Sampson and Friar John [in R&J] this year, I’ve done Tybalt [also R&J]. I was Lysander in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Banquo in “MacBeth.”
A lot of people think Shakespeare is such a “high art.” But going back to its roots it was for the common people. They’d go, paying pennies, to see a play; they were going there not to see the show so much as they were there to hear the language.
When we tour, we go to high schools around the area. It’s a great time. [It’s a great opportunity] for kids to see the shows, because it’s one thing to read [a Shakespeare play] but you don’t get the same impact [as you do watching it] because there’s so much that happens in just “Lord Capulet enters.” Without really seeing it there’s no way to know if he enters angry.
Whether it’s a comedy, tragedy, slapstick, you’re going to understand what they’re doing just from their physicality. If you don’t get all the words you can see what they’re doing; you can see what they’re trying to convey; you can see they’re heartache; you feel like you’re a part of it; you’re in the city that they’re in.