Friday, May 11, 2012
Spotlight on Giles Davies
As a resident company member of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for nine years, Giles Davies knows his Shakespeare.
When he speaks of the master of poetry, his passion is clear.
“With poetic language, Shakespeare elicits a mental image that stirs the soul. His pen is a paintbrush that paints images,” said Davies.
And when Davies says that in his fabulously Shakespearean English accent, it sounds quite lovely and would make anyone want to recite a sonnet.
As the guest director and instructor for our PCYT summer production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Davies brings his breadth of knowledge and understanding of Shakespeare to our Conservatory theater students.
“I think it’s fantastic that the Patel Conservatory is doing classical text, and bringing it to younger audiences,” said Davies.
Davies was raised in Hong Kong to British parents who had a love of community theater. He began performing when he was five years old. He received his M.F.A. from Ohio State University, and has traveled and performed around the world. He's studied with such icons as Marcel Marceau, and Anne Bogart who founded the SITI Company.
A consummate artist constantly on the prowl for life experiences that will enrich him as both a person and an actor, Davies often finds himself performing wherever he goes, “that can range from performing in a bar or a campsite, to a hostel or a high school, or a theater company,” he says.
Since moving to Tampa three years ago, he’s performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at freeFall Theatre, Quills at Jobsite Theater and Death and the Maiden with Simple Theatre, to name a few.
In Creative Loafing, Mark Lieb says, "he's established himself as a performer not to be missed...He's that good. He's that surprising."
Davies feels Shakespeare is a dying art, and enjoys helping students find beauty in the often difficult text, even if that means comparing the Bard to hip hop to get their attention.
“It’s the rhythm of the delivery of the text that’s part of the artistry of it. The rhythm, delivery and sound of the words themselves adds to the attraction of the language...and elicit a visceral response,” said Davies.
While with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Davies helped start the Groundlings high school acting program at the theater. The program quickly flourished and the Groundlings Jr. for middle school students was soon added.
This summer’s Patel Conservatory production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed as the culmination of a two-week theater intensive for grades seven through college. Davies will also teach a beginning adult acting class.
“Shakespeare is practically a foreign language for most modern students,” said Davies.
Through various techniques, he hopes “to translate Shakespeare in a way that will illuminate the plot, and...unlock the jewels within.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream theater intensive will be July 16 - 27, 2012. For more information, click here.
For information about more summer theater intensives at the Patel Conservatory in Tampa, click here.