We are pleased to give you another actor spotlight, this time on core company member and Fight Director Ryan Zarecki. This is his 4th summer with OSF, and he plays our Ferdinand (Tempest), Randall (Robin Hood), and Banquo (Macbeth). Check out this swashbuckling nerd.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
I'm the OSF Fight Director, actor, breaker of things, and proud husband to the lovely Katie Zarecki, choreographer extraordinaire. This will be my fourth year with OSF and it has been just amazing being a part of this company. I received my BAC from Bowling Green State University and trained with the SAFD in stage combat. I make leather goods that I sell here at the festival and online at my Etsy site The Buckle and Rose. I have taught a number of classes and workshops (one coming up in August!) in historical European longsword, archery, leatherworks, theatre and stage combat all over the Cleveland/Akron area. I love what I do and do what I love, so I'm very lucky.
WHY PLAY WITH US AT OSF?
I have always wanted to be fight director for a Shakespeare company. It was a big dream of mine, and every summer my dream comes true. What more could you ask for?
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL EACH TIME YOU CHOREOGRAPH A FIGHT?
To tell a story without words. Each character fights differently and each move gives you insight into their head. Heroes, villains, whomever. When the chips are down, that's when you see the real core of a character.
BEST ADVICE FOR THOSE FORCED TO HAUL LOGS ABOUT FOR THEIR FATHER-IN-LAW?
Lift with your knees. And having someone lovely nearby to cheer you on doesn't hurt.
BEST ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO STUMBLE UPON WITCHES IN THE WOODS?
Keep your wits about you; and if your travel companion has that "mad king" look in his eye, I strongly suggest you become the best of pen pals. Absence makes the heart keep beating.
SPOILER ALERT--YOU'LL BE PLAYING BANQUO'S GHOST. FROM WHERE WILL YOU DRAW YOUR OTHER-WORLDLY INSPIRATION?
Patrick Swayze. I will strongly suggest "Unchained Melody" be played in the banquet scene. "Ooooohh, my thane..."
BEST THING YOU'LL GET TO SAY?
WORST THING YOU'LL HAVE TO SAY?
Goodbye to Henry Bishop, that beautiful man who was the first to tell me how much my skills meant to the Festival.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT SHAKESPEARE?
The words. Such beautiful words. There is something profound in how he puts to paper the emotions that rage in us. You can't help but want to kill a king, fall in desperate love, take control of the very air with the words he writes. I love it.
That, and as Terry Burgler put it, we get to wear Robin Hood costumes and use old-timey crap like swords. So there's that.
FAVORITE OSF ROLE AND WHY?
I I had a blast playing the great Scot: the Douglas in Henry IV, Part One. It was double axe wielding mayhem, which was a blast to choreograph. But in truth, Fight Director is my favorite role because I get to be all the heroes and the villains, if only for a little while. That, and I get to fight, and who wouldn't love that?