It is a great pleasure to welcome Julia Jones to our company of talented actors. I was immediately struck by Julia's headshot and resume when she submitted them to us, but they were nothing to Julia's presence when she arrived for her audition. We were absolutely taken by Julia's beautiful voice, graceful reading, and stunning ease with verse-speaking. You will be too, I'm certain.
If you're unfamiliar with ADK Shakes, you may be surprised when the first line of The Merchant of Venice is spoken next Saturday by a lady. That's right, Julia is playing Antonio, the titular character of Merchant. We often use cross-gender casting in our productions. In the past, we've had ladies playing such roles as Titus in Titus Andronicus, Lord Clifford in 3 Henry VI, Touchstone in As You Like It, and we've even had gents featured as the Duchess of York in Richard III and Marjorie Jourdain in 2 Henry VI. In the Justice Project, Melanie Arii Mah is appearing as Angelo, Lindsay Bartlette Allen as Elbow, Lindsay Tanner as Gratiano, Shayna Vercillo is playing several guys whose names end in -O, and I am playing Escalus. Ladies in the house.
Frankly, I love cross-gender casting. It can be an interest comment on a character or their relationship with other characters in the play. Plus, it's an exciting challenge for both the actor and the audience. This is what the theatre is all about, isn't it? We are building an imaginary world together. We are playing roles, not ourselves. It's part of the magic -- pretending we're someone that we're not, pretending we're somewhere that we're not, part of a story that's utterly removed from our regular lives. While we're at it pretending we're someone else, why don't we switch it up as much as we can? And honestly, I've seen women play more convincing men than men. It can be done! Magic!
Come appreciate the magic that Julia will help create next weekend. You can reserve your tickets here, and you can also support Julia by adopting her! A portion of your donation will go directly to her in addition to supporting The Justice Project.
(MERCHANT: Antonio, Tubal; MEASURE: Mariana, Friar Thomas, Servant)
ADK SHAKES debut
Julia is a native Texan and NYU graduate. She has worked at the Inwood Shakespeare Festival, Hudson Warehouse, and Shakespeare Santa Monica. Many thanks to Tara and Patrick for this opportunity.