Assistant Teaching Professor Jesse Hinson and Lecturer Samantha Richert each earned graduate degrees at Brandeis, and both now teach in Northeastern’s Department of Theatre. This month, they also share the stage in Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. These two old friends, classmates, and colleagues appear in the key roles of Prospero’s servants, Ariel and Caliban. Listen to them talk about their process, and you can hear the depth of their mutual trust, respect, and joy in collaboration.
Hinson: This process has been special to me because it’s my first opportunity to work with Sam since we were classmates. Back then, we played quarreling siblings, ill-fated lovers, and had a very sweet and awkward first date scene in the premiere of a new play. Over the course of three years of grad school, we developed a rapport on stage and a close friendship off.
Richert: Working with Jesse again is kind of like putting on a beloved pair of old shoes. The memories flood back, they feel just as they did years ago and it’s as if you pick up right where you left off, as if no time has changed.
Hinson: Beyond being an excellent actor with a seemingly endless skill set, she is always game to run with an idea or a moment of improvisation to make it click. Working with Sam again feels like we picked up right where we left off, and I’m grateful to be sharing the stage with her.
Richert: Whether we’re acting together, or teaching, or hanging out as friends I think our dynamic is always constant. We know each other so well that we can just “be” with each other, as equals. We respect each other, we know how to make the other laugh, we confide in each other and we trust each other.
Both actors also stressed the importance of faculty working professionally, and the challenge and opportunity to work with mentors and classmates on stage.
Hinson: When I was in school, it was important to me to see my teachers perform professionally. It gave me a chance to see them practice what they were offering their students in the classroom.
Richert: The other interesting payoff is to work with Marya as Prospero who was our Voice teacher at Brandeis.
Hinson: Now, getting to perform in The Tempest with a former classmate and now a colleague at Northeastern as well as with the professor who taught our Shakespeare class in grad school, it feels like worlds are colliding in an exciting way.
Richert: At first I was nervous about this but everyone has been so great at treating each other professionally and being on the same page.
Hinson: Every night I have an obligation to them to give my best effort because I know how much they have been there for me.
Tickets to The Tempest are available at web.ovationtix.com. The production runs at Willet Hall at United Parish in Brookline, December 1- January 8.