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GBHS presents 'Something Shakespeare'
new slt GBHS picture1
Newly crowned King Claudius (Cody Bowers) assures the people of Denmark that he did not kill his brother. Queen Gertrude (Makayla Gotchall) and secret service agents (Josh Fredrick and David Webster) look on. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Local student thespians are turning Shakespearian actors as they stage "Something Shakespeare" Sunday, Nov. 13, Monday and Tuesday at the Great Bend High School auditorium.

The series of one-act plays are by different authors put together to create a fun program of Shakespeare spoofery. Show times are 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults, and are available at the door.

"I am a huge fan of Shakespeare and it has been really fun dismantling these plays and turning them into something both familiar and totally original," said Dan Heath, GBHS theater teacher and co-director. "I really think this evening of theater will be equally funny for people who love Shakespeare and people who dislike and fear him."

The first play is "Hamlet: As presented by numerous corporate sponsors that refuse to be named!" by Don Zolidis. It will be followed by "Romeo, you Idiot!" by Tim Kochenderfer.

"Both plays are comic spoofs of the classic Shakespeare plays," Heath said. "You do not need to know or understand Shakespeare to enjoy these productions, but those who are big Shakespeare fans will also love them."

Heath said the play opens with two narrators explaining that the budget for the high school play has been cut; therefore, corporate sponsors have agreed to front the money for the show as long as they get to change the plays to their liking.

The result is a fun combination of product placements, spontaneous commercials and ridiculous plot twists that take Shakespeare’s classics places they have never been before, he said.

"A very talented cast will double up the roles in both productions," Heath said.

Performers include Katrina Moore, Josh Fredrick, Gabe Joiner, Chase Pumford, Jessica Fruend, Hannah Mosier, Mary Bouey, Allan Clark, Marcus Allen, Morgan Gauby, Joy Conner, Holly Mosier, Alyssa Dowson, Sara Keller, Courtney Campbell, Aaron Mull, Makayla Gotchall, Kelsey Dirck, Cody Bowers, Dalin Hinds, Danen Levingston, David Webster and Angel Serna.

The stage manager is Kristin Kelley, assisted by Kiley Flint.

The technical director is Luke Abbott.

Ash and Cocherell Weiland designed the sets and provided artistic direction. The play is also directed by Andy Negaard.

"We always try to use our individual talents to create something better than any of us could do on our own," Heath said. "I am constantly amazed at the creativity and vision these young people bring to every show we do.

"The sets, costumes, hair, makeup, lights, sound … Everything shows a distinctive creative flair that comes from the young artists themselves," he said. "I am very proud of everyone involved in putting these plays together.

"I am very blessed with a group of talented and committed actors," Heath added. "They really understand the work that goes into the craft of acting. They aren’t content with just being performers. They want to act and they are willing to expend the monumental effort necessary to reach that goal."