Two Rep ensemble actors came to St Mary’s RC Primary School to discuss what it’s like to be an actor as the group celebrates its 20th year.
Actors Emily Winter and Irene Macdougall have been part of The Dundee Rep ensemble from the beginning in 1999.
The ensemble was set up by Hamish Glen and is the only one in Britain.
Emily wanted to join the Rep ensemble because she had just had a son and didn’t have a permanent job.
Irene said that she wasn’t sure about joining the Rep.
She said: “I was working as a freelance actor at the time and could say no to jobs that I didn’t want to do, but as an ensemble member you have to be part of everything.
“It took me a while to decide that I wanted to do it, but I believed in ensembles.”
She said that in Eastern Europe there are a lot more ensembles so you get a chance to practice more.
In an ensemble you don’t get to choose your character– your director chooses for you.
Both the actors like to play flawed characters because they aren’t a hero or a villain. They’re a mix of both. Emily likes to play the most dramatic character in shows that they do throughout the year, but in the Christmas show she likes to play the baddie.
Irene likes to play classical drama, like Shakespeare or Greek tragedy, what she called messy drama.
Both liked performing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream because the way they portrayed it was dark and Oberon and Titania didn’t get along. There was also a river going down the middle of the stage and real rain.
Emily said: “Most of the characters fell into the water and every time that happened water ran down the stage and the audience got a surprise.”
Both actors preferred to have a big audience because they get good energy from them every time they react.
They added that if you want to become an actor you really have to want to do it because it’s quite hard to find a job and then be successful in getting it.