As we are getting ready to open Richard III and The Merry Wives of Windsor, we had the chance to interview Aaron Alderman on his experiences playing both Richard and Falstaff.
What drew you to playing Richard and Falstaff?
The short answer: I was asked. The more honest answer is that I first agreed to play Richard. When given the opportunity to play one of the greatest written roles with a company that I love and respect, very few things could compel me to say no. Falstaff was a role I’d preformed before and thoroughly enjoyed, and I was excited at the opportunity to play again.
What are the similarities between Richard and Falstaff?
The similarities are few but ones I find intriguing. There are two notable answers. They’re both men who have survived massive wars, and they are both men of notably unusual physicality.
What are the differences?
While there are many differences, the most notable are how they deal with their commonalities.
Richard thrived in war, Falstaff got through it. Richard cannot bear to be bored and left alone with himself, so much so that he murders enemies and friends to take over his kingdom. Falstaff would just as soon goof around and have the rest of his life be nothing but weekend partying followed by a lazy Sunday.
Richard is full of self loathing, and he has been told his whole life that he is disgusting and he despises the world for it, with a special destain for women. Falstaff is called or alluded to as fat at every given opportunity and he still thinks he’s God’s gift to the human race. He truly believes all women want him and all men want to be him (they just don’t know it yet).
How has playing both of these characters in repertory stretched you as an actor?
Goodness, I mean there’s the simple weight of the amount of text itself that’s difficult. The real challenge I find is the switch between characters. I likened it recently to the sport of Chess Boxing, where you box and play chess alternating at 5 minute intervals. The whole point being to physically engage, while keeping your mind lucid and alert, and conversely to engage your mind heavily without deactivating your body to let it cool… so yeah… it’s a bit like that.
Why should people see Richard III and The Merry Wives of Windsor?
These shows are very different experiences, and each one on their own will be a fun and magical engagement. However, combined, they are like coffee and cream and will leave, I believe, a happily satiated audience.
Get your tickets to see these plays in action at sweetteashakespeare.com/tickets.
Sweet Tea Shakespeare will present its 2014 Summer Season at the 1897 Poe House on the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Grounds in Fayetteville.The season features two comedies: Love’s Labour’s Lost runs June 18-22 atÂ 7pm
Â nightly. The Taming of the Shrew runsJuly 16-20 at 7pm
Love’s Labour’s Lost follows four buffoonish men as they pledge to live a life free of women and dedicated to chastity and academic study â until four beautiful women, including the Princess of France, arrive on the scene. Each of the men secretly tries to woo one of the women without being caught by his fellows. Uproariously funny and tenderly poignant, Loveâs Labourâs Lost is a great night under the stars.
The Taming of the Shrew follows Bianca, who wants to marry the love of her life, but her father has one rule: Biancaâs older sister, Katharina (âKateâ), must be married first. The problem? Kate will have nothing of it. Enter Petrucchio, a would-be suitor for Kate, who employs some unconventional methods of âtamingâ Kate and who ends up being tamed himself in the process
Performances will take place outdoors. Audiences should bring their own seating and bug spray.Picnic style food and drink, including free sweet tea, will be served. Pets and outside food are not allowed.
Each performance is preceded by half an hour of live music and preshow entertainment with plenty of opportunity for fellowship and fun.
Tickets: $12 general admission; $10 senior citizens/military; $7.50 Students; $5 Children 6-12 yrs.; Free under 5 yrs.; $5 FSU students. Purchase tickets on-line:Â sweetteashakespeare.com. Location: 1897 Poe House at 206 Bradford Avenue in Fayetteville.
VisitÂ www.sweetteashakespeare.com<http://www.sweetteashakespeare.com/> for more information. CallÂ (910) 672-1724Â for tickets.
The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex is part of the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, within the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The Complex consists of a regional history museum showcasing the history of southeastern North Carolina; the 1897 Poe House, a late-Victorian house museum; and historic Arsenal Park, the remains of an ordnance factory that served both the Federal and Confederate governments.Sweet Tea Shakespeare, a project of Fayetteville State University, seeks to celebrate the wonder of Shakespeare and other classic plays in beautiful environments with family-style flare by providing simple, elemental, magical theatre experiences with a nod to the diversity and heritage of southeast North Carolina.