“Ariel’s fifth production with the Teen Troupe was Cymbeline, in which she played a character with a brand new set of challenges. Cymbeline is a difficult piece to pull off, as there is more than the usual number of intertwining storylines. She played Pisanio, the faithful and conflicted servant who ties the entire sprawling piece together.
I wanted to give Ariel the chance to expand her range even more by playing this central “low status” character. Ariel took on the challenge with gusto, mimicking on stage what she does for the troupe in real life—tying the group together. One of the most memorable moments in the show was when Ariel, left alone on stage, launched into a gorgeous monologue in which she worked through the conflicting messages and tasks she had been given, including being ordered to commit a murder. Her performance was powerful, inspirational, thoughtful, complex, and precise.
In this piece Ariel showed how much she has grown as an actor. Along with her innate passion, bravery and intensity, Ariel now has added a greater degree of confidence. She has poise, polish, and a wonderful sense of discovery and delight in the language. And as much as Ariel is Shakespeare’s number one fan, I bet he would be hers, if he were around!”
Photography by Melanie Eve Barocas & Erik Baumgartner