Leading Talent On and Off Stage

Jim Helsinger, Artistic Director at Orlando Shakes, talks about his acting role in "Love's Labour's Lost"


In Orlando Shakes’ production of Love’s Labour’s Lost, Jim Helsinger, Artistic Director at Orlando Shakes, takes on the role of Don Armando de Armado.

I recently got the opportunity to speak with Jim about his role and what it feels like to be back on stage.

OST: Can you describe your character in Love’s Labour’s Lost?

JH: I play Don Adriano de Armado, a fantastical Spaniard. The inspiration for the role was a combination of Salvador Dalí and the King of Spain in the 1920s, both of which had huge mustaches.

OST: The last time you were in a production at Orlando Shakes was in 2009. How does it feel to be back on stage?

JH: I am really enjoying my time on stage. The last play I acted in at Orlando Shakes was Wittenberg. I played Dr. Faustus. Although I’ve acted more recently on other stages, it’s been a long time since I’ve acted at my home theater. I love our audiences here.

OST: What is your favorite scene in Love’s Labour’s Lost?

JH: I love playing the ukulele with Maxel, who plays Don Adriano de Armado’s servant. I also really enjoy talking to the audience about my character’s love dilemma with Jaquenetta.

Jim Helsinger as Don Adriano de Armado and Maxel Garcia as Moth star in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”


OST: Acting or directing? Which do you prefer and why?

JH: Acting. That’s the way I’m trained and my best relationship with the audience.

OST: You wear four different hats at Orlando Shakes: artistic director, director, actor, and playwright. How do you juggle them all?

JH: I love creating great art with great people and audiences. I think any one of the four jobs would become boring over time, but switching from one to another makes them challenging and fun. I like all aspects of art, whether it be the beauty of a stage production or spreadsheets that show that we are on budget and on time.

Jacqueline Aubrey, Orlando Shakes Marketing Intern