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Q&A with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival's Lina Chambers

Lina Chambers, Eduardo Placer*, Katie Willmorth, An Ideal Husband

By Dana Oland- doland@idahoshakespeare.org

Published 8/15/10

When Lina Chambers opened the e-mail from ISF artistic director Charlie Fee telling her she was cast in the Idaho Shakespeare Festival's “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” she did a little dance.

“I remember I screamed,” says the tall, willowy blonde. “I've got it saved in my in-box. I'll probably frame it.”

After a childhood spent studying theater in the festival's drama school, Chambers, 22, is now an official member of the ISF repertory company.

In addition to her debut as Helena in this season's production of “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” she also has a small but fun role as the Countess of Basildon in Oscar Wilde's “An Ideal Husband.”

Chambers, the daughter of two artists, Michael and Melissa Chambers, moved to Boise with her family when she was 3.

Except for a couple of years spent in Illinois during high school, the family has called Boise home.

(They moved back in 2005, the summer Lina did the festival's apprentice program for the first time.)

Chambers is a product of ISF's training program.

She started in the festival's drama school as a kid. She took classes, did the intensive workshops and the apprentice program twice.

She also taught in the school, worked in the Young Company (the next step after apprentice) and performed “Midsummer” for the festival's educational tour Shakespearience in 2008.

Transitioning to the professional company seemed a natural, she says.

“I've felt part of this company for a long time,” she says. “I've been on every rung of the ladder.”

Last spring, Chambers opened “Midsummer” in Cleveland, but bringing the role to Boise was extremely special.

“It's like all the pieces had come into place,” she says. “It's been such an honor working with all these people who have been my heroes since I was a kid.”

Chambers is headed into her final year in Boise State University's theater department, which actually is her fifth year.

She took spring semesters off over the past two years to do theater. She'll graduate in 2011 if she doesn't pick up any more acting jobs between now and then. The next step is graduate school. Yale University would be her dream.

Q: Can you put into words the feeling of opening “Midsummer” in Boise?

A: I was so much more nervous about performing in Boise than I ever was in Cleveland. It's pretty nerve- wracking knowing that there's going to be at least one person in the audience who's known me since I was an itty-bitty. Read more

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