Focus on Community/Arts
Peake Players Open Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

Friday, October 13, 2006

WYE MILLS - Imagine all 37 of Shakespeare´s plays condensed into one zany evening of entertainment. That´s the premise of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) which the Peake Players will present at Chesapeake College beginning November 3rd.

The Complete Works, written by Adam Long, Daniel Springer, and Jess Winfield, is a hilarious compilation of parts of Shakespeare´s tragedies, comedies, and histories, presented in a rather unorthodox manner. The histories, for example, become a football game in which monarchs pass a crown to each other, and, if they can avoid assassination long enough, score touchdowns. Othello becomes a rap song. Titus Andronicus is a cooking show a la Julia Child. The condensed Hamlet is performed normally, then at super speed, and then backwards (yes, backwards).

The cast consists of nine talented actors who play over 70 roles in the course of the evening. Four are Chesapeake students: Tony Jefferson, Cassi Ervin, Tiffany Ford and Wendi Rhodes. Also included are community members Sharon Gilroy, Jim Fowler, and Rick Willis, who also serves as Assistant Director. Rounding out the cast are Chesapeake alumnus Matt Folker and Chesapeake Adjunct Instructor Erica Tecce. The show is directed by Chesapeake´s theatre professor Anita Livingston Tecce and stage managed by Sammie Neumann.

Tecce first saw the show Off-Broadway during a theatre trip to New York several years ago. "I thought it was the funniest thing I´d ever seen," she said. "I´ve always had it in the back of my mind to do it some day and this was just the right time." The show is usually done with only three actors, but the Chesapeake version will expand to nine. "This allows us to get more people involved in the show," says Tecce, "and also gives us the ability to include even more physical humor, since we have more bodies to work with." She is confident that the show will be enjoyed by all groups of theatre goers. "It has something for everyone," she says. "There´s broad humor that can be enjoyed by any audience member, there´s more sophisticated humor, and there are humorous references that will be appreciated by those more familiar with Shakespeare´s work. It´s just a really funny show. We have a ton of fun doing it and that almost guarantees that the audience will have fun, too."

Complete Works is the first production in the Peake Players 2006-07 Salute to Shakespeare. The spring production will be April´s Hamlet: a Modern Adaptation, which will be the traditional Hamlet "translated" by Anita Livingston Tecce into modern English. The season will conclude with a murder mystery dinner theatre entitled Murder Most Shakespeare, which will be presented in July.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) opens on Friday, November 3rd, and runs for two weekends in the Cadby Theater, Room 117 of the Humanities Building on the Chesapeake campus. Performances are at 7:30 on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 on Sundays. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $6 for seniors and students. Reservations are not required. Tickets are available at the door.

The show is not recommended for young children. For more information, call director Anita Livingston Tecce at 410-822-5400, extension 278.

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