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Interview with our Benedick, Devin Haqq

Role in the show? 
Benedick

Brief background?
Devin E. Haqq is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a graduate of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Professional Actor Training MFA program. He has performed in numerous stage productions, around the regional United States and New York City, most recently appearing Off-Broadway in Epic Theatre Ensemble's productions of "Richard III" and "Measure for Measure". Devin also appeared in HBO's award winning ad campaign "Surprise", directed by Sam Mendes.

Favorite Shakespeare play and why?
Henry IV parts 1 & 2. I love the character of Falstaff. I have to play that role before I check out.

Two words to describe Much Ado?
Bipolar Romp      

What kind of preparation did you do for the role?
I started by reading the play over and over to really dissect the story. Since Benedick is such a merry fellow, known for his dexterity of wit, I've been watching a lot of stand-up comedy to get more insight into that kind of personality and find new ways of expression.

What makes this adaptation different from another Shakespeare play you’ve been in?
Each time I embark on a production it's always a new and different experience. That's the beauty of these plays. No matter how many times they are done, each director brings his or her own particular point of view to the work. Likewise, each new actor that approaches one of Shakespeare's great roles looks to put his or her own unique stamp on it. Hopefully I will be able to do this with Benedick.

What is the most difficult aspect of your role or the play?
Well Benedick has a lot to say, so the challenge is not only memorization, but also finding the specificity within all of those words, while at the same time making everything immediate, spontaneous, and truthful. Many great actors have played this part, so there is a bit of pressure to measure up to those great performances. Also, lovers of Shakespeare have strong ideas about how certain characters should be portrayed. My focus is to find my way into the character by honoring the language and telling the story to the best of my ability. If I can do that, I know I will give the audience a great show.

 

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