By Tegwyn Hughes – Editor
“Being on stage is – it’s so hard to explain just how amazing it feels to stand and stage and to address people, know what I mean? I’m glad that I got to do it, but I’m sad that it’s over.”
I walk into the almost empty auditorium to find Zach Jeffcott perched on a chair near the doors eating a Subway sandwich. “It’s really lame – lettuce, cucumber, ham and mayo,” he admits, when I ask what toppings he opted for. On stage, some actors are rehearsing lines and setting up, while Ms. Hunt-McCoy briefly shouts instructions before leaving to set something up downstairs. Despite the small cast size, these big personalities fill up the auditorium like a crowd of students filing in for an assembly.
“They’re mucking around on stage right now, it’s sort of what they do beforehand – they put all the props out, because, you know, we’re organized. We’re very organized!” Zach boasts, just as one of his cast mates throws a paper airplane from the stage into the seats.
“It’s very hectic and stressful,” he admits, “especially because I have class still… We actually built most of the props, so every day we would come and do that. We rented a bunch of stuff from the NAC too. We all have a lot on our plates, but I think we’re all up to the challenge”.
“My favourite part of the play? It’s how cerebral and existential it is. I’m dead serious! Because it’s actually, like, a bit high-brow. I think the good thing about this play is that no matter when you’re listening, there’s always something interesting being said, but you might not get all of it, you know?”
“I play Guildenstern in Act 2. That’s not a spoiler, because it’s in the program… Yeah, we’ve decided to do three sets of Rosencrantzes and Guildensterns, partly to share the acting, but also because it contributes to the mistaken identity thing of the play – Nobody can tell who we are, we can’t really tell who we are, and we’re constantly questioning where we belong”.
“So, in the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are sent for – they’re standing on the road to Elsinore, Hamlet’s castle, and they can’t really remember where they’re going, and this troupe of actors from Hamlet shows up and makes it more difficult for them to figure out who they are. We weave in and out through the plot of Hamlet… it’s basically Hamlet, but we join in for parts of the plot and leave for others to try and figure out what the hell is going on.”
“I did my first play in grade ten, and that was amazing… so I’m really excited this year. Having this as my last production is really humbling because, I don’t know, I’m a little sad because it means there’s no more drama left for me, which is sort of bittersweet. Being on stage is one of the singular – it’s so hard to explain just how amazing it feels… I’m glad that I got to do it, but I’m sad that it’s over.”
When I ask Zach if he has anything else to add before I finish the interview, he looks down at his meal and proclaims, “Subway is the best… The cast of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern endorses Subway as the best food. Ever. So there you go – you heard it here first, folks!”
“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”, which was performed for three nights in early December, featured a talented cast of actors that included grade 12 student Zachary Jeffcott. If you are a student interested in having this amazing experience next year, look out for more information in September or October, and get on Ms. McCoy’s good side!