Thursday, July 11, 2013

HYPERBOLE:bard - Interview with Taylor Coffman

Taylor Coffman
The brilliant actress Taylor Coffman is currently appearing in Rogue Artists Ensemble's HYPERBOLE:bard. She took a minute out of her busy performance schedule this week to talk about the show, the process, and Shakespeare-Nerdom!
Rogue Artists Ensemble: How did you get involved in creating HYPERBOLE: bard?  Have you worked on other Rogue HYPERBOLE shows before?

Taylor Coffman: I had heard murmurings that the Rogues were going to tackle some Shakespeare and as a certified Shakespeare DORK, I knew I had to get in on the fun. I became an associate artist with the Rogues last year after appearing as 'Jane' in D IS FOR DOG and working on Songs of Bilitis at the Getty Villa.  I met the Rogues just auditioning as an actor and immediately fell in love with their storytelling methods. It's really been fun to take a look at Shakespeare's stories from new and exciting angles.

RAE: What was the process like in developing the piece?  How did it challenge (or not challenge) you as an actor?
TC: Developing this piece was a lot of fun. As they say "serious art comes from serious play, " and that was definitely the case with this piece. We played around in a room with a bunch of creative folk. Some, like me, were Shakespeare purists and others barely knew the Bard's work but were amazing creative storytellers - so the result is truly a piece for those who know the bard well AND for people who might be meeting Shakespeare for the first time. Especially kids! This is a fun all ages piece and I love the idea of introducing Shakespeare to young folk!

RAE: What is your favorite story or character in the show and why?
TC: OOOOOOOOO. Tough question! I think my favorite may be the Witches character from MacBeth - it's definitely always fun to play with a giant puppet!

I also have a special connection to Sam who is playing our "Spearcarrier"- I had this idea for a piece that involved creating a monologue that combines all the one line characters of Shakespeare's - a sort of homage to the small roles of the canon. So I went and researched those characters and crafted a piece. Sam does a great job bringing all these characters to life in one exuberant piece. FUN FACT - it's often said that Shakespeare himself played many of these walk on roles.

Taylor Coffman in HYPERBOLE:bard in Carlson Park
RAE: What is it like working at the Annenberg Beach House?

TC: It's beautiful! Often doing theatre involves being in a dark room for hours and hours. Especially in the Summer, it can kinda be a bummer... but at the beach house, we're next the ocean and this beautiful setting. It's definitely energizing and joyful. The staff has been so supportive as well. It's rare to do theatre that brings out my freckles!

RAE: Why do you think audiences should come see the show?
TC: It's FUN! It's FREE! It's in a beautiful setting! It's especially a good time to celebrate the bard in a way that is unique. It's a really joyful piece.

RAE: Any funny/interesting/terrifying/inspiring stories about the rehearsals/performances/process that you want to share?
TC: Well, this is definitely one of the only shows I've ever done were the cast absolutely needs to take SPF breaks!

HYPERBOLE:bard is playing at the Annenberg Community Beach House Wed, Thurs & Fri at 4:30pm through July 19!  CLICK HERE to read more about the Rogues!

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