Voigt in the spotlight: I got to spend time recently with Whitefield actress Elise K. Voigt, the delightful person who plays the role of Maria in the upcoming Bath Shakespeare Festival and Camden Shakespeare Festival productions of the well-loved Shakespeare comedy “Twelfth Night,” directed by Stephen Legawiec. This is Voigt’s second season with the festivals, having debuted last summer in their productions of “Much Ado About Nothing.”
Besides acting, Voigt home-schools her three young daughters, Iris, Scarlet, and Rosemary, and teaches theater at Juniper Hill School for Place-Based Education in Alna.
“I’ve been really happy pursuing regional theater, and not really believing that I have to be in LA or New York or Boston, especially while I’m raising my kids,” said Voigt, who studied acting at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and the British American Drama Academy in London, where she “did a lot of Shakespeare.”
Voigt was also involved in theater at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, where she went to high school, and with Heartwood Regional Theater Company and Lincoln County Community Theater. (Voigt played the town planner in the LCCT production of “Renys: The Musical,” back “when they thought Walmart was going to move into Damariscotta.)
Voigt spoke fondly of her time as a member of the LA Players, a theater group at Lincoln Academy that traveled to schools around the state performing interactive skits dealing with teen-related issues, such as one about “a dad who comes home drunk,” she said.
The skit would be stopped “at the climax point,” Voigt said, and the students in the audience would be asked if they had any questions.
“And we had to answer in character. I think it was the best acting training I’ve ever gotten,” she said.
In addition to acting in “Twelfth Night,” Voigt is singing with a small group during the play’s intermission each night. “I am singing some madrigals,” she said, “which has been pretty challenging, but fun!”
Voigt said the cast for “Twelfth Night” consists of half local actors and half from other areas, such as New York City; Dallas; Louisville, Ky.; and Albuquerque, N.M. “Those guys are just loving Maine,” she said of the actors from out of the area, who are staying at homes in Bowdoinham, where rehearsals have been taking place. “They ask, ‘Where should we go to eat lobster, pick strawberries, go antiquing in Brunswick?’ It’s fun seeing Maine through their eyes.”
“Twelfth Night” opens in Library Park, at 890 Washington St. in Bath, on Thursday, July 12 at 6 p.m. at the Bath Shakespeare Festival, bathshakespeare.org. It also plays at 6 p.m., Saturday, July 14; Sunday, July 15; Thursday, July 19; Saturday, July 21; and Sunday, July 22. Opening night is “pay-what-you-can night,” Voigt said.
“Twelfth Night” opens Wednesday, July 25 at 6 p.m. at the Camden Shakespeare Festival, camdenshakespeare.org. It also plays at 6 p.m., Thursday, July 26; Friday, July 27; Thursday, Aug. 2; Friday, Aug. 3; Saturday, Aug. 4; Wednesday, Aug. 8; Saturday, Aug. 11; and Sunday, Aug. 12.
Contact Voigt at email@example.com.
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