There's a week to go before opening night, and the stars of GRAPA's upcoming Romeo and Juliet have come a long way since the first script read-throughs.
Ryan Butler and Hannah Mitchell are the titular lovestruck duo, and have been hard at work for the past months defining their characters and running lines. The final touch has been costuming, which Mr Butler said is helpful in getting into character backstage.
"The costume's pretty comfy. It's been a bit full-on, but it makes you a bit more comfortable in the character. It's awesome."
Miss Mitchell joked that the lack of sleeves on Juliet's dress made it a bit chilly but was a fan nonetheless.
The two have been practising around the clock - Mr Butler said that he whispers his lines to himself at home while Miss Mitchell said "the neighbours must think I'm crazy, yelling Shakespearean English all the time."
Some scenes are still tricky though.
"Every scene where I'm very still, I want to fidget. I'm a very fidgety person. I want to move a lot," Miss Mitchell explained.
"I struggle with the dancing, I still struggle a bit with it," Mr Butler said.
The play has given them both an appreciation of Shakespeare's work. Mr Butler said that he 'has a way of putting things into words.'
Miss Mitchell noted that her favourite plays were Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Hamlet, all tragedies.
"It's hard to explain. It's like romantic, but not love. It's the romance of life back then and the timelessness of it all,"
"He speaks to my little black heart," she joked.
Both said that this wouldn't be the end of their acting careers, and were keen to continue pursuing it.
"I go to Canberra and play gridiron as well, so my dream is to go and play college football and then dabble in acting. See what takes me further," Mr Butler explained.
"I've got two plan A's instead of a plan B."
Director and executive producer Bonnie Owen said that the entire cast has gone above and beyond.
"I'm so pleased with everyone, everyone always offers something new ... Sometimes I give a note and I think it didn't quite land, but they always come back and nail it," Ms Owen said.
Miss Mitchell agreed. "Everyone is the best version of their character."
GRAPA's Romeo and Juliet will be playing at Griffith Pioneer Park Museum, on November 19-20 and 25-27. Tickets are available now through GRAPA's website.
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