'Shakespeare at his funniest'
Merging Shakespearean comedy with Sherlock Holmes-style elements of suspense to create one unique theatrical experience, "Comedy As You Like It" premieres Nov. 9.
Scenes from Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors" and "As You Like It" are combined to tell one common tale of star-crossed lovers and mistaken identities.
In her first time directing a program for Windham High School, English teacher Tess McKinely said the idea is to create a show audience members won't soon forget.
"Both of these plays are Shakespeare at his funniest. With that in mind, we've taken essential scenes out of both plays and thanks to our narrators, the tale knits together nicely," McKinely said.
Dressed in trench coats and carrying flashlights, the narrators encourage guests to seek out clues, which are hidden in some of the play programs as the theme from "Dragnet" blasts on the intercoms.
"It's a very fast-paced show with plenty of comic timing," said McKinely. "Even if the actors are doing a great job, it's up to the technical crew to rotate the sets quickly. Otherwise, the story is lost."
Auditions for the show began in early September and much like the show itself, progress has been made at an impressive rate.
"We all jumped right in. Some of the kids even came in to work on things when the schools were closed this week," McKinely said. "There's just a great spirit here - a great love of the theater."
Sophomore Alexa Monfette, who plays the role of Adriana, said the experience has been challenging but also rewarding.
"I came to the production late in the game, but I've got my lines memorized already," said Monfette, who hopes to be a professional costume designer one day.
Fellow sophomore Ryan Traeger, who plays the dual roles of LeBeau and Sylvius, said he's particularly enjoyed perfecting his French accent for his first character.
"Both of these guys are pretty goofy - one is French and the other one is love-struck and awkward," he said. "It's been pretty fun."
Cody Munroe, who plays Oliver, said his character is also rather goofy but "tries to be serious," while Sophia Samuels' character, Luciana, is all about "sass and attitude," as she puts it.
Ram Shet, a freshman, said putting some of the upperclassmen in their place - all in good fun, of course - has been an added bonus of his character, Antipholus of Ephesus.
"I have a bit of power. I even pretend to whip people," he said with a grin.
"Comedy As You Like It" will take place Nov. 9-11 at the Windham High School Theater. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m. and the Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m. Tickets, which will be sold at the door before shows, are $8 for adults and $5 for students.