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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Drama puts humor in ‘Shakespeare’

By Kaylee Chan | Editor in Chief

    Drama will be performing the play “I Hate Shakespeare” twice on Nov. 4, once on Nov. 5, and once on Nov. 6 in the Gary E. Goodson Theater.

    The play, originally written by Steph DeFerie, is a comedy that references a variety of Shakespeare plays with a humorous modern twist. The story follows Hamlet, played by senior Joshua Cheng, as he convinces an unhappy person in the audience, played by eighth grader Alessander Melgares, about the merits of Shakespeare.

   “I’m surprised I got the main character role,” said Cheng, as this will be his first time performing in a theater production. “I’m working really hard to do the best that I can.”

   Auditions started late September and were open to all students. The first table read occurred on Oct. 7.

   “I Hate Shakespeare” will be the first play of the school year, as well as the first play performed in the Goodson Theater since the 2020 lockdown. Last year, plays were performed in the smaller Murphy Blackbox Theater due to COVID-19 safety concerns.

    It was drama and stagecraft teacher J.C. Gafford who chose “I Hate Shakespeare” as this year’s play.

   “I like how the play is called ‘I Hate Shakespeare’ when really it’s just everything other than hating Shakespeare,” said Gafford. “I also like the silliness of it. There’s a cow, there are zombies, there’s a pie in the face— it’s a really silly, fun show to work on.”

   Gafford is also the play’s director, a role that involves developing a vision for how the show is staged, along with determining rehearsal dates and assigning parts. Since “I Hate Shakespeare” has over 40 unique roles with actors expected to play multiple parts, assigning roles was uniquely complicated for this play.

   “It depends on the part, depends on how they look, depends on how they sound,” said Gafford. “A lot of the actors in the show are brand new to acting and I got some people returning that are veterans from previous shows, so it’s all subjective.”

   Sophomores Gabriela Sanchez and Dan Quach are also assistant directors for the play.

   “We just help out the cast, step in when they’re not here, get information to them, or do blocking,” said Quach, who is playing Othello and Romeo.

    Stagecraft is handling all the technical aspects of “I Hate Shakespeare, including props, costumes, and set design. A professional will be hired to rig the lighting, but Stagecraft students are in charge of manning it.

    Like with any production, hardships are anticipated. A lot of the actors and stagecraft workers have little theater experience and matching up schedules to determine rehearsal dates has been difficult, but according to Sanchez, dealing with these problems is a core part of theater.

   “Every place something goes wrong, we find a way to twist it and make it our own,” Sanchez said.

   The play will be performed at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Nov. 4, 7 p.m. on Nov. 5, and at 3 p.m. on Nov. 6.

   Tickets are $5 for general admission and $4 for seniors or students with an ASB card. They can be bought from students participating in the play and at the door on the performance dates.

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Drama puts humor in ‘Shakespeare’