Gary Shakespeare Company

FREE Shakespeare for Northwest Indiana

Brandon Hearne interviews with the Post-Tribune

1.  What is your name, hometown, and occupation?

Brandon Hearne, Gary, Currently a student at Indiana University Northwest, Employed with Theatre northwest and Chipotle.

2.  What is your theatre background?  Include as much information as you desire.

I have been studying theatre since my freshmen year in high school. I attended Emerson VPA and studied theatre there where i met the most amazing group of teachers and friends who encouraged me to keep pursuing theatre and do what makes me happy. I continued my studies in theatre when i went on to college where i am currently enrolled as a senior.

3.  How did you become involved with Gary Shakespeare and why?

I got involved with Gary Shakespeare through a professor who is now the president of the Board of Directors (Mark Baer). He said it would be a great opportunity and i have always had a passion about classical works like Shakespeare and Moliere; where the language could take you to places so distant but so i auditioned for the very first show the company ever had.

4.  What are the benefits you see in offering Shakespeare to the residents of Gary?

I think about this all the time; if it wasn't for this company being in Gary there would be hardly anything positive to come from this city. we would never have a theatre company that say it in the name where they are and no be ashamed of it. i think about the hundreds of kids and adults in the city that now have access to Shakespeare where if we didn't exist they would never see a Shakespeare play or have the chance to even be in one. i think it benefits students in high school and in college who want to try classical work but don't have the training and who want to work behind the scenes but no one will take the time at their local high school to allow them to. these are only a few things that the Gary Shakespeare company is able to offer, which in itself is more beautiful and touching than anything I've seen happen in this city.

5.  Have there been any negatives, that you've seen?

The only negatives i can see at this point is that we are only limited due to spacial issues to summer performances. I think that if we could find a way be it more funding or something it would only add to the incredible experience this company is able to give to the city.

6.  How can learning/watching/performing Shakespeare benefit people, in your opinion?

I think it can benefit people by simply introducing them to something they either had no clue was possible. I think as an actor it helps prepare you for any other style or technique you would use in your career. I always say if you can do Shakespeare you can do anything. It benefits learning because we get a touch of history and technique that cant be done over night but must be groomed into a persons way of acting. I think by watching you become more cultured which in the city of Gary is a huge thing because its not something we have happen very often.

7.  What's the best thing you have received from this experience?

I am the youngest person to sit on the Board of directors and that means more to me than anyone could ever understand. I get emotional just think that i an African american male and i am making a difference through Shakespeare and giving it back to my community and am doing so in a very positive way. It has made me humble to the fact that i am blessed with such a high position and have accomplished one of my goals in life already. And that is the best thing i could have ever received from this experience.

8.  What would you say to people who are considering attending a performance?

I would tell people considering attending a performance get ready for a great performance with the most talented group of new and old actors who are coming to act their hearts out just for you!