Students Take on an Age Old Classic

Hadley, Reporter

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For this year’s winter production, the theatre department took audiences on a journey into the world of Shakespeare. The student directed show, Cymbeline, was action packed complete with fight scenes, poison, and a decapitated head.

 

From getting more acting experience under their belt to simply enjoying the world of Shakespeare, students auditioned for Cymbeline for a multitude of reasons; “I wanted to better my acting skills and challenge myself in a new way,” sophomore Abigail Huettemann said.

 

The show was directed and casted by seniors Josh Kuhn and Annellia Pierce. “The hard part wasn’t deciding who got in, it was determining which student was best for each part,” Pierce said.

 

Directing as a student came with many challenges, including deciphering the complex script.   “Before I gave the script to my actors, I had to read it seven times before I completely understood it,” Pierce said.  “Each and every line had to be decoded and translated so that we could direct the cast.”

 

The actors knew that depicting the plot to the audience would be a challenge. “The plot line of the show was hidden, which made it difficult and also interesting to do,” junior Jonathan Boudreaux said. The directors helped the actors accomplish this task by setting deadlines for sections of the script, so that the memorization process was not as daunting.

 

Pierce and Kuhn had creative control, deciding the costumes and stage design. “With an intimate setting, the audience feels more drawn into the show, and actors become part of the set. That’s why we chose to have the seating on stage,” Pierce said. “As for costumes, we decided on doing a republic style, because it was easy and we could pull a lot of it from our own closets,” Pierce said.

 

The actors had to learn to be comfortable with the audience being on stage. “It was very intimidating and made it more difficult to stay in character,” Huetteman said. Because of this, actors had to get into character before they even went out. “Once my makeup and costumes were on I would stand in front of the mirror and run a few lines,” Boudreaux said.

 

Cymbeline was a success, drawing sizeable crowds to each performance and shining a new and youthful light on an old classic. It also provided valuable lessons to many of the students involved.

 

“I learned a lot about trust through this process, trusting that my co-director and my stage manager wanted the same things I did, and trusting that my actors would do what I asked of them,” Pierce said.

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