BCHS theatre performs 37 Shakespearean plays in under two hours


G. Cates, Reporter

Audience members can catch Macbeth, Othello, The Tempest and more, if they don’t blink, in BCHS theatre’s fall production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

“The show has to be fast pace if you want to get through all of Shakespeare’s plays in a reasonable amount of time,” said senior Henry Gramling, who plays one of the show’s three narrators and Hamlet. 

He, along with seniors Jillian Hurley and Mary Horlander, attempt to quickly guide the audience through all of “the Bard’s” plays, which is no easy task. With many different stories, the fall play requires many different characters. 

Cast members get their head shots taken and film a promotional video for social media.

“It’s a really fun ensemble cast show. It feels like everyone plays an important part,” described senior Grace Timpe. She portrays Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Brutus from Julius Caesar and Laertes from Hamlet. Most actors double or triple up on roles in order to cover every character, which proves to be an extra challenge for those working backstage. 

Sophomore and sound crew co-head Sara Borland explains, “Looking at all the different plays that are happening, we have to do more complex and faster microphone switches between characters.” Since there are more cast members than microphones, actors must oftentimes yield their mics to other characters once they exit the stage. 

Sound and light crews practice operating the boards and equipment during a technical rehearsal.

At times, the show may be a challenge for the cast, crew and directors, but not for the audience.

For those who may be less acquainted with Shakespeare, Gramling said that “the scriptwriters did a good job of prioritizing the plays people are most familiar with.” 

“You can tell what’s going on and not be confused by the Shakespearean language,” said freshman Anna Erdosy, who plays Richard II and Friar Lawrence from Romeo and Juliet.

Over 80 students are involved in this production. Most would agree that the highlight of this show is the humor. “The narrators make it seem like they are coming up with things on the spot,” said Borland, “so it’s more entertaining and fun for both the crew and the audience.” 

Gramling agreed saying, “My favorite aspect of the show is how spontaneous and random it can be at points. Sometimes it feels like no one in the play knows what they are doing.” 

Crews get to work preparing the house – transforming the main gym into a theatre.

The Complete Works of Williams Shakespeare (Abridged) will be performed Thursday, October 24th at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday the 26th at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10, but BCHS students can be admitted for free at the door with their student IDs. 

Timpe believes all should attend one of the performances because “everyone who sees this show will love it. The end.”