Angelina (Angie) Reiner wants you to pay attention.
"Don't pay attention to the big words, pay attention to the body movements and pay attention to, especially with the fight scenes, pay attention to where the characters are looking, and like if they're scowling, pay attention to the tension in the air and not the tension in the voice," she says. "Watch as I get more annoyed with the characters around me...notice as it sort of shifts, it's like almost during intermission he drank a potion and became evil, it's like the snap of a finger, and then you wonder 'was he doing this the whole time, or is this just something that he decided.'"
Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is not only Angie's last play production of her high school career, but also her most important one yet. She is Marc Antony, the infamously perfidious politician. As a history buff, Angie had to learn how to put aside her admiration of Antony's historical significance and remind herself of Antony's more despicable attributes in order to portray him properly.
"He's almost an antihero, but not for the greater good, it's the greater good for himself," she says. "As he becomes more and more powerful, it goes to his head and he's like 'I'm going to be the ruler now, I want to be the next Caesar.'"
Though Cassius may seem to be the most obvious antagonist, Angie maintains Antony is the true villain of the play. She has to flip between acting "good" and acting "evil" as Antony swings back and forth in his duplicity.
"It's my first time playing a character of multiple complexities over watching or portraying a character that's flat," Angie says. "Marc Antony is a really manipulative character, and that's what's so evil about him... If you watch closely, you can see the portrayal shift from 'I'm a loyal friend' to 'I'm going to take his place.'"
It took her some time to figure out the most effective way of communicating these shifts, given that Elizabethan English sounds like a foreign language to most. "We have to add a little bit more oomph," Angie explains. "You have to really portray it physically, like how when I'm being angry I have to move my hands so the audience is like, 'Oh! She's angry.'"
So, when watching the Drama Club's production of Julius Caesar this weekend, keep an eye out for Angie's Marc Antony, and the subtleties she brings to the art of the character arc.