Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Venue 1: Santa Barbara

Emma is in Santa Barbara! She talks about her experience of performing at the university and how it is very different to performing on the Globe stage.

Transcript of Podcast

Emma is in Santa Barbara! She talks about her experience of performing at the university and how it is very different to performing on the Globe stage.

What are the venue and the performing space like?

The venue is a theatre on a university campus. The actual location of the campus is stunning; on one side of it is the sea and on the other side there are mountains, so it’s beautiful. The actual theatre itself is a circular building, it’s a lecture hall I believe, but it’s a very nice theatre and it seats about 900 people, maybe a bit more than that, and it’s a slanting auditorium coming down to a proscenium arch stage. So it’s very big but actually the acoustics are quite good and it’s quite easy to play really; very comfortable.

What is it like doing Shakespeare in that particular venue and for that particular audience?

The biggest difference for me, having come from doing the other show, is that the audience is sort of in the dark again. They are actually lit, the auditorium lights are up, but because the lights on the stage are brighter the illusion is that they look like they are less well lit, whereas in the Globe everybody is in the same light when you perform outdoors. So that’s a bit strange and also because we are on a stage they feel a little bit further away. Even in the Globe the groundlings come up to your feet, you’re there with their heads at your feet, but the audience here are sitting a good few feet away from you, and they’re lower down from you and slightly more in the dark. So it’s just trying to get the show over that gap that has been the challenge really and just being really brave about talking to people and trying to single people out; trying to make contact and break that barrier because the show was obviously designed as an outdoor show so it has the spirit of direct attachment to the audience, so it was just trying to break through that really. But it’s actually worked really well, they’ve been very receptive and jolly and laughing along so it’s been really gratifying.

How are you finding the travelling process so far?

We’ve all reacted to it differently. So some people didn’t sleep at all and some slept too much. Some people have been waking up in the middle of the night, so the time difference has been quite tricky and we’ve been quite tired with the jetlag. When we first got here it was alright but then we went into a theatre where it was really dark and the light was controlled so our bodies were like, “What? So we’re now in the dark again are we?” I think we have all relapsed slightly. We were teching in the dark so we all had a bit of a slip yesterday and our bodies got really confused and were like, “Look, we’ve just got to decide what’s going on now.” But we have had a bit of time to relax and the journey over here was fairly straightforward.

Have you had any free time to explore Santa Barbara?

We had a day off when we first got here which was a sort of acclimatisation day to let our bodies settle a bit. And we went into Santa Barbara that day and had a little look around and that was really lovely. We all went down to the sea and walked on the beach and then had a look in the shops. We were just very wide-eyed and like, “Oh, what’s this like?” Because most of us have never been here before. So we didn’t really go very far out of our way, I know some of the crew who have been here a bit longer went up into the hills, but we’ve not really had enough time to do that. So we just looked around the town and I went to an art gallery which was lovely, and we’ve sat in cafes and watched the world go by which is really interesting.

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