As I was deciding where I wanted to intern this summer, I wanted to go somewhere that would most benefit my understanding of Shakespeare, as I’ve become obsessed with his work throughout my college career. The theatre seemed to be the place to go. I had seen plays and loved watching Shakespeare’s work performed, but I figured if I worked with the theatre I would be able to see how the written words become a real experience.
My first day, I didn’t really know what to expect. I came in ready for anything. Within the first half hour, I was already blown away. I sat in on a production meeting of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Thronton Wilder’s The Matchmaker. When you see a play performed, you don’t realize how much goes into it, but I got my first glimpse in that production meeting. I heard various people who were in charge of different aspects of the production—props, staging, lights, costume—all working with the director to make the play come to life as we see it from the audience.
After the production meeting, I sat in on a script reading of Much Ado About Nothing. I found this fantastic; it was so cool to see the actors as real people working to bring out the emotion and personality of each character. I realized some of these actors were meeting for the first time, getting to know each other, but also working together to bring spirit and energy to a play written nearly 400 years ago. As I watched and listened, I was in awe at how these actors were working with each other and the director to bring out the essence of the written work. They were looking at the psychology behind each character in each scene and really feeling what each character is feeling. They spoke of what the heart of each character was in order to perform the character with authority, and this was only the beginning stages.
That was my first day at my summer internship with the IU Theatre and Drama department. I’m so excited to see these plays come full circle, from beginning to end, and to have the opportunity to help bring the audience and the performance together. An author long ago in a far-away land once imagined these characters would excite an audience and understand life a little better, I wonder if he ever thought a young woman in 2013 would be helping to make that happen.
— Lauren Haynes