After taking on the role of Mary in the SMUS production of The Secret Garden last year, Grade 12 student Ellen Law spent her summer performing Shakespeare. She will be taking the stage alongside Jack Hayes ’12 in A Midsummer Night’s Dream again this weekend as part of Bard on Beacon. Below, she talks about the diverse acting opportunities she’s taken part in around Victoria and through SMUS.
by Ellen Law, Grade 12
I started acting from the age of five. I knew I was destined for the stage after I felt the thrill of making an entire audience laugh with my first big line in The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. I did acting camps from then on until I was 11-years-old in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I lived. In middle school, I was part of the school acting club and when I moved to Victoria at age 12, I went on to be a part of the SMUS Middle School musical The King of Elfland’s Daughter in Grade 7.
When I got to the Senior School, I was overwhelmed by the numerous acting opportunities that were at my fingertips. I participated in three SMUS Student Theatre Society productions over my first two years: Distortion, Aristotle’s Poetics and Wakeful Sleeper. In addition, I have been in two SMUS musicals. In Guys and Dolls, I was the understudy for both the female leads as a Grade 10 student and last year, I was one of two leads playing Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden. Over the summer, I participated in the SMUS summer workshops of the musicals Urinetown: The Musical and The Wedding Singer, which were performed in the Victoria Fringe Festival. This past December, I played the part of Rosalie in Langham Court Theatre’s Lady Windermere’s Fan. Being the youngest member of the cast, it was a great learning experience for me in my first community theatre production.
Since April, I have been a member of the cast of Shakespeare by the Sea’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as Hermia. Since starting acting at the Senior School, I have become a more confident and outgoing person, while at the same time, making so many friends I wouldn’t have otherwise made if I hadn’t joined acting. One of these friends was Jack Hayes ’12. I have acted with Jack in numerous productions at SMUS and now he plays my character’s love interest, Lysander. Our cast performed at Clover Point all through August, and got a great review in The Times Colonist.
Our last three performances of the summer are in Sidney this weekend, so there is still time to come out and see some Shakespeare before the school year goes into full throttle.