UVU student collaborates with Grassroots Shakespeare for directing debut

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UVU senior Chantel Ficklin and current Grassroots Shakespeare Company producer Nick Grossaint are co-directing the first show of the theatre season, “The Winter’s Tale” by William Shakespeare.

Q: How did the collaboration between UVU and Grassroots come about?
CF: They contacted me after applying to direct for this show, and then they told me that they would involve Grassroots, and I was really excited about that … because I had seen [them] and done a few things with them and I thought it was a really good opportunity.
NG: UVU was looking to do a Shakespeare Show. They thought “what can we do that’s a little different?” and they reached out to Grassroots. [We’re] a little different in terms of rehearsal and production than a normal play, and I think they wanted the students to see a bit of that.

Q: Is this your first directing experience?
CF: This is my first go at a full-length play.
NG: The Grassroots process is really interesting …because every person in the ensemble is the director. So I’ve had a lot of experience in that manner, but as far as being called “the director” this would probably be my second time.

Q: Tell me a bit about the show. Do you know why UVU picked this show?
CF: This is the President’s Show. Usually the President of the university picks the first show of the season. “Winter’s Tale” is a unique story, and UVU is really good at offering challenges to its students. So I think that’s probably why they picked Winter’s Tale, because it’s not as well-known.
NG: I think it’s … invigorating. There’s a lot of students who have read Shakespeare in high school. They’ve seen “Romeo and Juliet”, they’ve seen “Much Ado” … and so this is a piece that people may not be as familiar with, but still has … different flavors of Shakespeare. It has a good chunk of drama; it has a lot of comedy … it kind of covers a lot of the ground that some Shakespeare shows don’t do as much. I think it’s challenging in that way.

Q: What would you say the most interesting part of the whole process has been? Or what have you learned?
NG: Every time I do a Grassroots show, … It’s always amazing to know that you as a group can be stronger than an individual. So when we’re here being directors, we’re more here to help enforce that. The thing I learn time and time again is that we’re all together to do something better than [what] could have been done by one person.

Q: Anything else you want to say about the show?
CF: Everyone should come see it.
NG: It’s going to be the best President’s show we’ve had yet!