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GHS Gazette

The Student News Site of Guilford High School

GHS Gazette

The Student News Site of Guilford High School

GHS Gazette

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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) From the Outside and Inside Perspective…

Last fall, I had the luxury of attending GHSTA’s fall production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). The production itself was astounding, ranging from the incredible actors to the small attention to detail in costume and set design. It is safe to say that GHSTA fully commits to their plays and the work definitely pays off. 

The play initially starts off with participatory theater, intriguing the audience by immersing them in the ages of Shakespeare. Before the prologue even begins, actors roam around the theater in character, interacting with us audience members. A pleasant surprise was the musical number that started the show, with a dance and singing rendition of Love Story by Taylor Swift. The actors creatively altered the lyrics to fit Shakespeare’s essence, substituting in the historically accurate moments of Shakespeare, but keeping the fun creativity of Taylor Swift. My personal favorite was the finale in which the actors performed excerpts from Hamlet. The comedical angle the production decided to take made the once dark story very amusing. The choice to try to repeat it faster and faster brought different levels of humor and never once became boring.  

Overall the performance was everything and more. There were moments of intensity and comedy that kept us audience members intrigued at all times. The actors truly embodied each of their roles and brought the show to life. Considering GHSTA is mostly student run just goes to show how creative and collaborative this production really was. Congratulations to Mrs. Mulqueen and the rest of the cast for a very successful production. 

 

Inside: 

Over the course of six or so weeks, GHSTA has been working tirelessly to put on The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Between props, costumes, set, hair and makeup, and more, students created a show that was both entertaining and hopefully educational. 

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) follows the plot of the Reduced Shakespeare Company of GHS, an ensemble cast that attempts to perform all thirty-seven plays of William Shakespeare in a ninety-seven-minute period. Early on in the show, the actors realize that the audience may know more about Shakespeare than they do, but continue on to the best of their ability. The first act includes Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, Othello, The Comedies, The Histories, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and finally Macbeth. The second act continues with the final play of the night, Hamlet. 

While all of that was going on onstage, the running crew for the play was working hard to run the show backstage. The running crew includes the best of the best from the props, costumes, hair and makeup, front-of-house crews, and of course, the stage managers. The running crew’s job is to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. They help with quick changes, getting all the actors ready to go onstage, handing off props, and more. For the weeks before the play, the members of the crews build the set, plan, create, and alter the costumes, make the props, plan the lighting, and more. When showtime comes, everything is complete and ready to be used. GHSTA is proud to say that the majority of the theater department is student-run. Although the director and technical director have major influence, the students lead their own crew and direct them as to what the show needs. The director of GHSTA, Mrs. Mulqueen-Teasdale, sits in the audience for all shows and leaves the activities backstage to the running crew. 

I had the pleasure and privilege of being one of the crew chiefs for the costumes crew for this production. The costumes crew designs, produces, and alters all costumes pieces that are seen on stage throughout the duration of the play. We work closely with the director to ensure that all pieces are not only period appropriate, but suited for the play and the actors. The costumes have to fit the needs of the play, while simultaneously fitting the actors and looking right on stage. The selected running crew for costumes also conducts all quick changes, and quick fixes that take place while the play is going on. If something breaks, or if someone needs assistance with their outfit, we are backstage and in the dressing rooms ready to help. 

Another aspect costumes have to think of is how the audience will react and view the pieces, along with the underlying meanings. Each costume has many aspects of it, which shapes the role and what the actor is able to do with their character. A costume displays much more than what may be apparent to the audience. Simple aspects such as the color of an outfit can show the divide of two houses, as seen in Romeo and Juliet. The state of the fabric of an outfit can show the status or state of a character, and allow the actor to portray just that on a different level. We design the costumes which allow the actors to build off of and use in their performance.

The experiences gained from this play is something that will carry through to the next production, and the one after that. Each play or musical that GHSTA aims to demonstrate the excellence each person involves strived for and all the talents they possess. I would like to say that GHSTA’s production of, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), was a success!

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