Shakespeare Showcase Success


Daria Khajavi

Kate (Sofia Kenrick) violently kicks Petruchio (Jimi Barton) during Act 2 Scene 1 of Taming of the Shrew.

Daria Khajavi, Photographer

     Highland theatre teacher Lexie Baugh has heard the rumors that Shakespeare is dead, but for one night at least, she brought The Bard back to life…along with some of his famous characters.

     The intermediate theatre students opened their Shakespeare Showcase on Oct. 1 with 12 independent Shakespeare scenes that gave them a chance to showcase their individual talents. They mostly revolved around the tragic aspects of Shakespeare’s classics with excerpts from Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Henry V and Henry VI, but had a variety of genres overall, including comedies like Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream

     The showcase took a turn when the advanced students took the stage and gave the audience a new and even more humorous interpretation of the famous argument scene between Kate and Petruchio (Act 2 Scene 1) of Taming of the Shrew. While many recognize this as an extremely overdone scene in the world of Shakespeare in high school, Highland’s theatre department gave a fresh look to the late 1500s play.

     The scene took place in a private school classroom lecture of Taming of the Shrew where students begrudgingly narrated the characters from the play. Throughout the narration, the characters began to spring to life on stage and mouth the words the students were saying. The students and audience alike became entranced by the retelling of this whirlwind of a scene. Not only did this add a comedic factor, but it kept the audience’s eyes on both the students and the actors portraying the well known characters in traditional form.

     Though the average person is clueless in deciphering Shakespearean text, through the compelling acting of these students the audience easily found themselves a part of the story in which the actors were performing. They felt the piercing sword stabbing Duncan in Macbeth and the resentment in Kate’s eyes as Petruchio and her became engaged in Taming of the Shrew. That’s what acting is all about, and these Highland students rose to the occasion.

     “I wanted to do something different and since I knew I had actors that we’re very comfortable being physical and had really worked on comedic timing in other avenues and through other plays through the year I wanted to utilize that and so that’s how we decided on Taming of the Shrew,” Baugh describes.

     A level of maturity was overflowing from the performers while they maintained a fun and welcoming environment that kept the audience either shocked and intrigued or laughing in unison; one could easily say that they had a seemingly perfect balance of work and play. Such a balance could only be achieved through the combined effort and teamwork among the theatre students, and therefore, made it all come together.

     “This particular class has made such a bond with each other throughout the years,” advanced actor James Barton said.

     The theatre department’s connection could clearly be seen from how they played off of each other and truly thrived when they were together on stage.

     While the theatre students obviously enjoyed themselves they are also aware of the impact the theatre department has on their lifestyle and life lessons as a whole.

     “Theatre teaches people a lot of things, it teaches people how to see other perspectives and whatnot, but I think that’s something very valuable that can be used throughout life, on stage or off,” Barton said.

     The little theatre room came to life Tuesday night, giving the audience and actors a new perspective on Shakespeare’s timeless plays, and all in all resurrected his stories back into the hearts of his audience.