The Apprentice Company prepares for its pre-show performance | Click to enlarge
[Shakespeare Festival] – Beginning this weekend, the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival Apprentice Company will join professional actors on stage for William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. Directed by Dominic Marcucilli and Douglas Stuart, the Apprentice Company is comprised of six vibrant high school students who are passionate about the dramatic: J.P. Herrera, Innana Antley, Sam Koek, Anais Morgan, Jessica Zielinski, and Mallory Keesler.
“The Apprentice Company offers young individuals an opportunity to participate in local theatre,” said co-director Marcucilli. Students get to work alongside professional actors, where they learn improvisation, as well as movement and voice techniques. In addition to performing in Macbeth, the Company will be putting on the pre-show, called “Hamburger Hamlet,” which combines inspiration from Star Wars and the Renaissance.
Marcucilli is excited to lead this group of teenagers, as he was a part of the Apprentice Company himself in 1994. “I remember thinking ‘This is awesome,’ and I never forgot it,” he recalled, “so when they wanted me to direct this, I was like ‘Absolutely!’ I learned a lot from it, and I know that they’re learning a lot.”
“I’m learning a lot, I’m meeting a lot of cool people,” echoed Morgan, who aspires to be a movie star. Keesler said her improvisational skills have greatly improved, thanks to Marcucilli’s ardor for improv. Antley pointed out that the Apprentice Company looks great on her résumé, and Zielinski thinks it allows students to display their talent. Koek added, “It’s kind of the first time I’m working with a very professional cast and a really knit group of people.”
Mallory Keesler, seen in the rehearsal space, is in her second year with the festival.
Aside from the pragmatic and developmental aspects, every student described his or her experience with the Apprentice Company as being “fun.” They’ve all enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people and build lasting friendships. Keesler remarked, “I’ve made such good friends while doing the Apprentice Company and while doing Shakespeare in the Park in general.”
These young people radiate energy that is contagious. You won’t want to miss them perform this summer at the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival.
Macbeth takes place on Saturdays and Sundays throughout July, at Towsley Canyon Park. The performances begin at 7:30 pm and are free. Audiences are encouraged to bring a blanket or chairs and a picnic, and wine will be available for purchase.
For more information or directions, please contact SCSF at info@scshakespearefest or call 661-799-3378.