This past week, I was able to meet the OSHER participants! I began by introducing myself, since I had not been at the first meeting, and asked each of the participants to introduce themselves. It seems like we have a lively group with varied interests and unique reasons for joining our project!

We proceeded to start casting. While the OSHER participants were hesitant at first to cast themselves, and asked whether we had any suggestions, we encouraged our group that self-casting would ensure that everyone was excited and confident about their roles. With this encouragement, participants began to call out roles they felt drawn to, for several reasons. One woman was excited about playing Lady Macbeth in the hand-rubbing scene. Others chose several smaller roles that they felt comfortable with. Since two of our members were not present today, we casted Judy as Macbeth, since everyone agreed she is our strongest actress, and Cynthia as several smaller roles, because she had expressed that she did not want many lines.

With everyone confirming that they were comfortable with their roles, we decided to read through our section of the play, having each person read their characters’ lines. I was surprised and encouraged by the emotion and the meaning behind the words that our actors were already applying to their lines. Although the read-through was a bit long, since we stopped a few times to discuss difficult lines and to do some basic blocking, I think it went very well for our first time.

Overall, I am very excited to be working with our OSHER group. They have a high level of interest in performing Macbeth and are skilled, educated men and women. I cannot wait to see the performance we put together!