By BA Journalism Major Ray’Anthony Bruster
Freelance Text and Voice Coach, Director and Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Associate Artist Alison Bomber has returned to The Ohio State University Department of Theatre to guest direct Romeo and Juliet after directing the department’s successful production of Othello in 2011. Born and raised north of London, Bomber’s passion for theatre stems from the language in William Shakespeare’s plays. She has worked with theatre companies in Poland, New York and London. Bomber also works as a text and voice coach, helping actors to understand Shakespearean language and bringing the world of the play to life on stage.
“There is so much excitement in these words…passion, power and detail,” says Bomber.
Bomber’s love for theatre dates back to her childhood. Her interest grew by watching musicals, listening to the music and watching the action from behind the scenes. The musical Kiss Me Kate was one particular musical that caught Bomber’s attention. The backstage footage influenced her decision to be a voice and text coach. She believes the interaction between the actors and the audience creates an energy that can be felt through the performance. She trains the actors to use the words as if they are painting a picture because the words are essential in any performance.
“I wouldn’t call myself a director, but a theatre maker.”
Bomber prepared to direct this production of Romeo and Juliet by cutting the text and then working with the actors to explore all the possibilities of Shakespeare's language. The actors must get inside the language in order to portray the characters correctly.
“I start in the room with the actors and the words. That for me is building that relationship between the actors and the words. Get inside their bodies and allow them to unpack and play.”
Her experience with directing is more of a collaborative experience since she works with writers, actors and directors. Without her theatrical team shows wouldn’t be as touching. It is important to Bomber that theatre performances move the audience.
“I want story telling that is exciting. I want that language that wakes up ears and I want actors living full vivid lives on stage,” said Bomber.
According to Bomber, the process for tuning a performance is ongoing and continues between performances. Romeo and Juliet opens on October, 19 at 7:30 p.m.
The Ohio State University Department of Theatre, Roy Bowen Theatre, Drake Performance Center, 1849 Cannon Dr.
Contacts: 614-292-2295, theatre.osu.edu
Details: A festering hatred between feuding families breaks out into violence. Love at first sight, urgent and impetuous, crosses the dividing line between the families. Can anything stop it all from tumbling forward toward tragedy?
Show times: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 28 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30
Tickets: $20, $18 for OSU faculty, staff, Alumni Association members and senior citizens; $15 for students and children (K-12).