MJ Brackin on playing Rosalind
What do you find most interesting about Rosalind?
Rosalind has a very strong sense of core values that drive her actions through the play. Love, family, equality, loyalty... these are all things that hold importance to her, and so she acts with them in mind constantly. The value of honesty, however, is something more fluid in Rosalind's world. Though honest with herself, her playfulness in tricking others makes for a very fun time!!
What is Rosalind's story?
I see this as a coming of age story. After her father is banished, she becomes more and more independent. She goes from being dependent and reactive to her environment, to independent and proactive within it. This personal journey and development comes to fruition in the final scene when she enters into an interdependent relationship. You see that she is not only in love with Orlando, but in a place where she is capable of loving him as well.
Can you relate to her in any way?
Of course! As an actor it is very easy to become reactive to your creative environment and go along with what others are telling you to do. Slowly I realized that in order to be effective, I needed to make decisions on my own and in a proactive way. This is the same sort of transformation Rosalind goes through in the play. And once I became an active decision maker, it opened up the opportunity for collaborative, or interdependent, decisions with those around me. When these collaborations happen the outcome is more beautiful than anything I could have possibly imagined on my own… I consider this the ‘democracy of art’ … if you will.
What do you think this play is about?
Love (give me a Shakespeare play where that is not a central theme and I will say the Earl of Oxford must have written it!).