One of the greatest woes of high school is inevitably reading a work of Shakespeare. Most people simply just suffer through a handful of pages of his craftsmanship and then pop in the DVD of the play to attempt to decipher its meaning.
So naturally when Shakespeare’s name is incorporated into a play, teens initially shy away. They think only of the agony of memorizing long sections of iambic pentameter and grappling allusions they don’t understand. One of the beauties of The Shakespeare Stealer, however, is how the message of the story transcends any sort of boundary of diction.
Audience members will see themselves in Widge’s (the main character’s) struggle between “what benefits you and what does you dare.” The minimal amount of Elizabethan words takes a backseat in the audience’s mind, letting the character work take center stage.
Dialects and Elizabethan times aren’t exactly common knowledge for the members of High School Rep: most of the Millennial Generation came to associate a British accent with what they saw in Harry Potter – not always accurate.) The actors in The Shakespeare Stealer had to act as chameleons to hone our skills for the specific piece at hand.
Fortunately, one of the things the Rep does best is adapting ourselves to fit the mold of every play we do, from a musical about a vampire bunny to a film noir set in a high school to The Shakespeare Stealer: a play not just about stealing Shakespeare’s work, but one that tugs on the feelings of everyone in attendance because they see themselves in the orphan boy with a leaning to the Yorkshire tongue trying to appease both the devil and angel on his shoulders.
The Shakespeare Stealer runs May 10-12. Tickets are available at 708-246-3380 or on our website at www.theatreofwesternsprings.com