SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS continues this Friday with Macbeth.
Jenn Ortiz plays Caithness in Macbeth.
Why do you enjoy performing Shakespeare?
I’ve always loved and have been fascinated by Shakespeare and the Elizabethan time period. My birthday was the day of his death (and his assumed day of birth as well). It’s interesting to be able to step into the echo of the past through his work, and it’s an honor to step onto the stage and into the work of one of the greatest writers of all time.
Describe the characters you play in 3 sentences or less.
I have speaking roles as Caithness and a ghostly apparition, and I’m a servant in a few scenes. Caithness is a Scottish Thane who fights for Malcolm, and the ghostly apparition is the third of three called by the witches to inform Macbeth of his fate.
What similarities do you share with your characters?
I feel like I have the same sense of duty and honor as Caithness. I like to follow the rules and if I believe something is right, I’ll stick to it. I respect people who do the right thing. Despite my own circumstances, I’ll do my best to help people however I can.
How are you different from your characters?
I’m reasonably sure I’m not a ghost. I’ve also never fought in a war, or been wounded in battle. I’m a pretty passive person, so I don’t like to fight. I don’t really think I feel strongly enough about any type of cause to go out and hurt people over it.
Why do you feel Shakespeare’s plays are still relevant today?
Shakespeare is timeless. He wrote pages and pages of stories about people, their personalities, and the situations they find themselves involved in. The way his characters speak might be slightly different than modern readers are used to, but people from all walks of life can step into his characters’ shoes and experiences, and find something they relate to, even 400 years later. Human emotion and conflict is something that everyone can identify with. I think if he was alive now, he’d write about similar themes using modern people and experiences.
What professional actor do you admire and why?
I had to think about this for quite some time. I really admire Emma Thompson. She’s so versatile, not only with acting, as she plays both serious and comedic roles on stage and in film, but she’s also a successful writer, and has Academy Awards for both of those things. I really respect what she has to say about herself and her art form, and I appreciate the way she puts herself 100% into what she does. She’s a great role model, extremely down to earth and genuine, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
If acting is not your day job, what is?
I’m a student first and foremost. I’m studying towards getting my Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media Arts (which collectively includes graphic arts, illustration, visual development, design, computer modeling and animation)
I work part-time for the City of Lake Forest as a Senior Recreation Leader, mainly in special events and programs for teens.
Describe your perfect Sunday afternoon.
My perfect Sunday afternoon is one of total relaxation with my husband. We might play video games or watch a movie, but just a day we can spend together without having to worry about the hustle and bustle of the week.
Call out someone who MUST see your show!
I’d love it if my in-laws came to see the show. Also, my co-workers! I know some family and friends are already planning on coming, so I hope they do! Honestly, I think anyone who likes theater should come. I’m so excited!
Performance Bio for Jenn Ortiz:
Jenn is thrilled to be making her OTE and Shakespeare in the Hills debut in Macbeth. She is a Media Arts student of The Art Institute of California and has worked in set and prop building, painting, design, makeup and costumes for The City of Lake Forest’s special events. This is her first theater role, although she has performed at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire with The Court of Misrule as a fool, as a scareactor at Knott’s Scary farm and as a tableau vivant performer in the Pageant of the Masters. Jenn is grateful to the cast, crew, awesome director and fantastic producer for a wonderful first experience on the theater stage, for all the collective hard work, and for the acceptance and friendship of this amazing group of people. To my friends, loved ones, and fellow performers: Thanks for the support, words of encouragement, and willingness to come out and see the show! I’m so grateful for the experience and knowledge I’ve gained in learning the ropes. I’ve definitely caught the theater bug. This has been such a rewarding adventure!
SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS 2016 presents Macbeth and Twelfth Night. SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS is a production produced by On the Edge Theatre Production in cooperation with the Laguna Hills Community Center.
Shakespeare’s Macbeth continues Friday and Saturday, August 12, and 13.
The performances will start at 7 p.m. and will be held on the lawn near the gazebo at the Laguna Hills Community Center 25555 Alicia Pkwy, Laguna Hills, CA 92653. Bring a beach chair, blanket, and a picnic dinner. Tickets are just $10 for adults. Kids 12 and under are free.
For both productions being offered at this year’s Shakespeare in the Hills, we are accepting online registration at https://apm.activecommunities.com/lagunahillscs or follow “register a class” links at http://www.ci.laguna-hills.ca.us/ (follow “register a class” links).
On the day of each show, we are accepting cash only at the door (no checks, or debit/credit cards).