Emma Tracey gives us an insight into #Dream2016

In each city that the Royal Shakespeare Company's new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream tours to, local amateur actors will appear onstage alongside the professional RSC actors. Citizens Dream Player Emma Tracey gives us her insight into joining #Dream16 and performing in  at the Citizens this March. 

In March 2011 I was 14. My mum took me to see Headlong Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow,  My only experience with the play before this had been in school, so I trudged along thinking “I’m not going to know what’s going on”. I couldn’t have been more wrong; the show was stunning, magical, hilarious, and it absolutely enthralled me. From there, a love of Shakespeare grew to be a love of being on stage, acting, words, and storytelling. 

Now, in March 2016 I am 19. My mum’s coming to the RSC's production of the show she took me to five years ago but there is one big difference: I’m not going with her to see it -  I’m going to be in it.

I never thought in a million years I would actually get the part, but in true Midsummer’s style, magical things began to happen and I was cast.

The Citizens Dream Players take the stage 
120 amateur actors came along to an open audition weekend with the RSC selecting a team especially for this project. The first time all six of us met was the day we were photographed as a group - hence the slightly awkward smiles in the photo above! The next thing after a cup of tea and introductions, was the brutal four month wait until “Shakespeare Bootcamp”
The Citizens Dream Players - Emma Tracey

Come September we were thrown in to the deep end. “Shakespeare Bootcamp” consisted of three tasks. The first was individually chosen monologues and duologues. I was paired with Bill (Whiland, playing Snug) and given a duologue from Much Ado About Nothing. We both found this hilarious as he is the oldest of the group and I am the youngest. Come task two, the awkward smiles had been replaced by a warm friendship that had developed within the team. Again, we were chucked into the deep end and instructed to create a dance. We picked the classic 1940s “Sing Sing”, and threw in some Charleston steps to match. Task three came and went extremely quickly; Pyramus and Thisbe was given a new spin as a radio play, which was exciting, nerve racking, and hilarious to record. 
Amongst this, we tuned into live broadcasting sessions directly from the RSC, to share with the other groups. Being the youngest, and having experience with google hangout, I was quickly designated the “Glasgow Techie”. Again, in true #dream16 style, magical powers with computers were awoken, and when the broadcast stopped working, I only had to talk to it to get it working again. 

Glasgow Techie Emma Tracey in action
Suddenly we were in rehearsals. As quickly as January came, February galloped in. We knew each scene like the back of our hand, and our characters felt like an alter ego we returned to three times a week. Abruptly it’s March. In two weeks time I’ll be racked with nerves, buzzing with excitement, and lost in the magic of it all, as The Citizens Dream Players prepare to take the stage.

The whole process has been something out of my wildest dreams. I’ve met some of the best people you could ever hope to meet and I’ve studied Shakespeare with Royal Shakespeare Company professionals. As a young aspiring actress, I could not have wished for a better experience. On 29 March, I will step onto one of the most renowned stages in the UK, in a production by one of the most renowned companys ever, as the youngest amateur actor in this crazy adventure. The lantern above my head will not only be lit by being moonshine. It’ll be the pure excitement and joy of this adventure.

29 March - 2 April