Being part of Julius Caesar

Member of the Sheffield People's Theatre ensemble for Julius Caesar, Mariah Louca, shares her experiences of being part of the cast and what it has meant to her. 

I auditioned to be part of the Julius Caesar Sheffield People's Theatre (SPT) ensemble in February. The audition involved exercises loosely built around building a society; thinking of status, a specific identity, what our job might be, our age, all to help create a person with core traits and attributes. I was lucky enough to be cast with rehearsals for the SPT cast members beginning in earnest at the start of April.

Rehearsals involved much more detailed work on building our 'citizen' characters; assigning all sorts of characteristics and observations about them, such as their relationships, their marital status and history to help create our own individual stories. We rehearsed twice a week during week and all day Saturday, we would rehearse how we would travel across the stage, what our objective to move would be as well as what structure the group we were part of would take.

After a few weeks we were introduced to the principal cast and were able to see how the scenes we worked on in isolation worked with a full company. The SPT cast would often talk about how they could see it coming together as one whole story once we began working with the principal company.

It was a fantastic experience watching the principals block scenes, particularly those involving any physical activity such as the mob scenes. Working with the fight director Renny really brought something that could initially appear quite controlled and static into something much more heightened and spontaneous. Seeing how these scenes look onstage is brilliant considering how they started life in the rehearsal room.

Once we moved to the Crucible stage to tech the whole thing is when it really started to become a vision. The days could be long, intense and tiring but seeing it all come together really made it worthwhile!

In the run up to Press Night the cast would work on notes during the day to make sure the production became even tighter. The performance itself was a bit of a blur, but I do remember it being a fantastic experience. After the performance we all gathered in the Green Room to raise a toast – it was a great feeling to be able to do that.

I’m currently in the midst of drama school auditions and being able to talk about Julius Caesar has really impressed the panels. Being part of the production has been a true gift. It’s brilliant that Sheffield Theatres allow people like me to get a foothold in the industry and an opportunity to perform on the Crucible stage.

I believe that anyone in Sheffield who is an aspiring actor, or even just a fan of acting itself, is truly lucky to get the chance to engage with the Crucible in the way I have.

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Sheffield Theatres is the largest theatre complex outside London. Across our three auditoria: the Crucible, the Lyceum and the Crucible Studio, we offer a huge variety of home-grown and touring productions, as well as a thriving programme of participatory events and activities.