Then and Now Interviews – Juliet

Annamarie Hammerstrom

Role in CBP’s 2005 Romeo and JulietJuliet

I live in the Twin Cities area with my husband, Jeff, and our children, Jacob, Cora, William & Baby due at the end of April. I was an office manager at an eye clinic until becoming a stay-at-home mom six years ago. I’ve been a part of the leadership team for our local MOPS group for several years and it’s been a perfect outlet for my passion of helping people find a place to belong, connect and grow. I love the outdoors, books and DIY projects. Theater is still a love of mine too. Other than going to see as many shows as I can, I haven’t been involved in any productions since high school.

Being involved in theater taught me to love art, beauty and creativity no longer as luxuries but as important and even necessary avenues of communication and connection between people.  Being in Romeo and Juliet, specifically, taught me to be curious about all the people in my life, recognizing that everyone has a story. From this experience, I began to learn a deeper empathy. I began to see the importance of listening to others rather than making assumptions and trying to understand where they have come from and what they have come through.

List all the CBP shows you were involved in. List any other theater experiences you have had since participating. 

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream – 2003 (Helena)
  • Anne of Green Gables  – 2003 (Ruby Gillis)
  • The Odyssey – 2004 (Circe)
  • Romeo & Juliet – 2005 (Juliet)

What is one of your favorite memories of being in Romeo and Juliet

A cliché answer perhaps, but I really loved it all. I just adored the whole experience. During several of the “‘joyed it” lines after the shows, audience members told me they had cried. I felt so triumphant because while I loved hearing laughter from the audiences during comic moments, it meant, even more, to have also touched their hearts.

 

Describe the character you played in the show and list some characteristics of your character that you admired. 

Juliet was my dream role. She is young and inexperienced but she lives through a series of events that force her to make very adult decisions. She rises to the challenge and takes responsibility for the course of her own life at several different points. I love her gutsy courage and her wholeheartedness in all that she does.

What were the challenges you faced when performing in Romeo and Juliet

One of the challenges was taking Shakespearean language and grasping Shakespeare’s many meanings for myself. Then, my job was to pass on my understanding faithfully to the audience through my portrayal of my character and her words. Shakespeare’s work is so funny and deep and striking that it was a daunting job to me.

Read the NOW interview with Miriam Warren the current Juliet