To be or not to be an actor is the question that Joe Lacey asked himself for the last 22 years, but all that changed last December when he was cast in the Australian Shakespeare Company’s (ASC) latest Graduate Players show.
Taking on the role of Dogberry in a rock musical adaption of Much Ado About Nothing, Joe will feature on stages in Melbourne, Sale and then in Prague.
The ASC has made a name for itself through its contemporary adaptions of Shakespeare’s famous works and created the Graduate Players pathway for budding actors.
Joe said despite being quite familiar with Shakespeare through university, he has learnt a huge amount more during 12 weeks of rehearsals.
“The Graduate Players is a program designed for young and up and coming actors to work with professionals to give them some experience,” he said.
“The youngest only finished school last year and the oldest person is in their 50’s, so it’s a real range of ages.
“Our director said that this program is often a bit of a stepping stone into getting into the pro- fessional company.
“It’s a chance to work with good people who know what they’re doing.
“I’m a trained english and drama teacher and we did so much Shakespeare at university, but the amount of stuff that I’ve learnt about language and performance in a couple of months far outweighs anything I did before.”
Much Ado About Nothing opens Wednesday, May 15 at the Anthenaeum Theatre in Melbourne.
For dates, tickets and information head to www.shakespeareaustralia. com.au/education/vic-graduate- players/.
For more on this story see Page 9 of The Advertiser, Friday, April 5