BY KATIE WOODZICK
Whidbey Life Magazine Contributor
September 3, 2014
“In our town we like to know the facts about everybody.”
—Stage Manager, “Our Town,” Act I
Morgan Bondelid was first bitten by the acting bug in college. She played Mrs. Gibbs in a production of Thorton Wilder’s “Our Town” in her senior year. That production, she said, instilled within her a life-long love of acting.
“I’ll never forget one thing that director did for us,” Bondelid said. “For preparation and research, she took the cast to a graveyard in the middle of farmland that had headstones from the 1800s. She asked us to study the dates on the headstones, to look at how many belonged to babies and children and young adults. Then she placed us on a hillside looking out over the fields, and had us run the whole third act. It was profoundly moving and informed our production so much.”
Bondelid has acted in twelve local productions since moving back to Whidbey Island in 2004 after a brief hiatus in Seattle. Some of her favorite roles include Verges and the Night Watch in “Much Ado About Nothing,” Baucis in “Metamorphoses,” Maria in “Twelfth Night,” Penny in “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” and Dupin in “Nevermore.”
She is currently playing Queen Elizabeth in “Richard III” with Island Shakespeare Festival, which, she said, is her favorite role to date. “Elizabeth Woodville was so strong, smart and strategic. And the role requires a significant depth and range of emotion. This woman loses almost everything that matters to her and still she finds the strength to fight Richard—and wins, although he doesn’t realize it at the time.”
This year, Bondelid was hired to create the print marketing materials for both of ISF’s 2014 productions. She worked closely with Rose Woods, the Artistic Director, to carefully create the look and feel for all promotional materials, including the rack cards, brochures, posters, ads and playbill for both productions.
Bondelid’s expertise with graphic design began in 1998. She was the editor-in-chief for her college yearbook and her design won Best in Show at the Associated College Press National College Media Convention, coming in under budget and ahead of schedule, as well as paying off the previous budget deficit.
She has found the intersection of acting and graphic design to be a fulfilling new challenge.
“I see graphic design and theater—and pretty much all forms of creativity—as methods of communication,” Bondelid said. “Acting has helped me develop a better understanding of story-telling, and my visual vocabulary has helped me appreciate blocking, set design, lighting and costuming. Until this year, though, acting and graphic design were essentially separate disciplines for me.”
Focusing on the graphics aspect of her work, Bondelid continued, “‘Richard III’ is a difficult show to explain and to market to an audience; I’ve focused a lot of thought on how to tell the story through print and social media so that people would understand how truly compelling this play is. I spent six months researching my character and the story as an actor, but I’ve also used that understanding of the story to help inform my design work.”
“Richard III” runs through Sunday, Sept. 7 under the orange and white striped canvas tent that Island Shakespeare Festival calls home. Bondelid also plays The Widow in “Taming of the Shrew.” Performance dates for each production can be found on the Island Shakespeare Festival website: http://www.islandshakespearefest.org/Season/Season-Calendar.html.
Bondelid can be seen onstage as Cinderella’s Mother and the voice of the Giant in “Into the Woods,” opening Friday, Oct. 10 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.
Image at top: Morgan Bondelid (photo by Tyler Raymond)
Katie Woodzick works at Hedgebrook as an External Relations Manager. She is also an actor and director who can be seen on local stages. She is excited to play Little Red Riding Hood in “Into the Woods,” opening Oct. 10 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.
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