Augustan gets to act with Pacino in New York

Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Jade Hawk, a graduate of Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, performed with A-list actors in The Merchant of Venice.

Jade Hawk is still on a high from the past couple of months.


The 22-year-old John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School alumnus landed the role of Shylock's apprentice in The Merchant of Venice , a play that was a part of The Public Theater's 2010 Shakespeare in the Park season in New York City. Shylock was played by Al Pacino. The season ended Aug. 1.

"It was incredible," Hawk said. "The amount of talent that was in the show -- I got to hang out with Academy Award nominees and Academy Award winners every day. I got to have small conversations with Al Pacino and hang out with him on stage. I never would've gotten that chance anywhere else. That's why I took the job."

Hawk graduated from New York University in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Contemplative Theatrical Practices when he got the call for the part.

Before getting the call, Hawk had planned to return to Atlanta to work with the Fabrefaction Theatre Co., a nonprofit theater company established by several people including Hawk to produce shows during their summer breaks from college. He is the assistant artistic director and manager of new works for the company.

"I had a full-time job waiting in Atlanta. I had just graduated from school. I had literally already planned for movers to take all my stuff and then I got the call to do Shakespeare in the Park," he said. "It was mind-blowing. When I got the call, of course, I did it. Why wouldn't you?"

He had auditioned for several Broadway, off Broadway and regional productions, but none of proved fruitful.

While still in college, he did a play reading with the future assistant director of The Merchant of Venice . What seemed a small deal eventually led to him getting the part in The Merchant of Venice , he said.

"Every big opportunity I've had came from one event, and that's how theater works. ... This one play reading I did where I had to do one day's worth of work trickled all the way down to me being on stage with Al Pacino. Most people work (hard) to get to the point to audition for Shakespeare in the Park. I was lucky I met the right people. It's all about connections."

Now that the Shakespeare in the Park season is over, he has returned to Atlanta to get ready for the company's September show.

However, returning to New York City isn't out of the question.

"I'm going to be in Atlanta until I get a call for a job in New York," he said. "Until then, I'm riding along and hoping for the best."



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