When it comes to Shakespeare, Theatre Arts Assistant Professor Laura Wayth tells her students to “Fear No More,” as the song from Cymbeline goes. Her message extends from her classes to her latest book, The Shakespeare Audition (Applause Theatre and Cinema Books).
“The problem with Shakespeare is that so many actors see it as being separate from themselves,” Wayth says in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts’ latest faculty video profile. “They see the language as something ancient that lives in a museum, when it really is the ultimate human truth. Shakespeare wrote about human experience.”
The Shakespeare Audition is just one example of how Wayth’s students inspire her teaching and research.
“I learn every day from [my students], and I'm a much better artist because of them, because of the conversations that we have,” she says. “... Ultimately, all of this is a conversation, and I’m a facilitator of a conversation.”
These conversations fit so well with the School of Theatre & Dance’s longtime emphasis on students creating their own work. “We train students to think like theatre makers, so that they go out and make their own opportunities,” Wayth says.
The video profile also offers a glimpse into Wayth’s new class, The Singing Actor: Exploring Music through the Craft of Acting, which is cross-listed with Music. Students focus on communicating stories and lyrics through song. Her bright smile never leaves her face when coaching students.
Hannah Anderson directed the video. The College of Liberal & Creative Arts’ Communication Team produced it.