Romeo and Juliet was in many ways a turning point in regards to my involvement with Yorick. It was the first production which was mounted while I was a member of the executive board, having been elected PR chair at the end of the previous semester. The show also forced me out of my comfort zone, as I was cast against my own gender: I played the Nurse, Juliet's confident and mother figure, a role which required me to cross dress, which I had never done before.
The process was an easier one than I would have imagined: soon after being cast, I asked theatre professor Doug Jenkins for his advice on how to best play the role, and he told me to play the character, regardless of gender--that is, not to go out of my way to include "feminine" mannerisms, which will invariably come off as forced to an audience, but instead to simply play the character written, true to the text, and that character will shine through regardless of gender. The technique worked, as far as I can tell: my biggest concern had been that the crossdressing would cause people to laugh at the most serious moments of the play, undermining the tragedy, but thankfully my fear was never realized. I must have been doing something right, I suppose!
Overall, the Nurse was a very enjoyable character to play and I would love to have another chance to do so at some point in my career.
(I also designed the poster for the production, which you can click above to view my other graphic design work!)