by SOPHIA SAKELLARIOU, Staff Writer
Players held auditions for their spring production “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” in the box on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
The play is a comedic work that parodies William Shakespeare’s plays in shortened forms, each consisting of only three actors. The 35 auditioners are competing for a mere 12 spots so they certainly had their work cut out for them.
Those auditioning were greeted by a panel consisting of the director, Katharine Scheid, co-director Camryn Kidney and stage manager Caroline Shea. Staring back at three faces as one recites a monologue sounds intimidating, but the Players board eased tensions by greeting everyone with a smile and a relaxed air.
Perched on a couch, Shea explained why this play was chosen and how it will be unlike any other in Players history as the first fully student run production.
“At the end of the year we all get together and pitch shows that we wanna do for next year. We didn’t choose it for the main stage, but were like oh, this will be like a great educational opportunity if we want to find students interested in directing,” Kidney said.
On why she chose the show, Kidney said,” “The show is really funny, it’s hysterical actually, so I was like yeah that’s what I wanna do.”
Players has never done a work of Shakespeare before. Shea explained that the American Shakespeare Company, a theater group not affiliated with Manhattan College , comes every year and performs one of Shakespeare’s plays. Last year they performed Macbeth and will be doing Winter’s Tale this October.
Shea explained the Company does a modern take on Shakespeare that’s really engaging with the crowd.
When pitch ideas are tossed around at the end of the year, most students shy away from Shakespeare works Kidney explained. However, “The Complete Works” is a different take on his work that they feel will be a big hit with the crowd, and many students within Players seemed intrigued enough to try.
“The pitch had a big enough following of kids interested that the board came up with the idea that this should be a student run production so we would have as many rehearsals as a main stage like our fall production, Present Laughter, but it would be completely student run,” Scheid said.
Running a complete production and juggling classes makes for quite a busy schedule, but Scheid said, “It can be hard to balance, but I’m lucky enough that I have Camryn and Caroline and the three of us I believe make a solid team that can get it through so that none of us are ever struggling.”
As stage manager, Shea is very excited to work on a fully student run production.
“We have a lot of assistants like lighting assistants and sound assistants who will help if we contracted out but for this production actually it’s going to be fully done by students.”
Pointing toward the hanging lights Shea said, “Since I’m the stage manager I’ll be up there sort of calling the shots and I think that the collaboration of all the students will make the show run smoothly.”
When asked what she’s looking for in hopefuls, Scheid said, “I really just wanna find people that have fun on stage. Like they don’t have to be word perfect every time and they don’t have to be super serious. The show is supposed to be fun and relaxed and I really want people to be fun and relaxed and really themselves on stage.”
Freshman hopeful, Ageta Gryzb reviewed her monologue up until the very last minute as she awaited her turn.
“This is my first time [auditioning for a play] and I’m super nervous,” said Gryzb. “I’ve always wanted to be in a play and I thought this was a good time to try.”
Another freshman, Isabelle Campbell, was also reviewing her monologue in the hall, but her theatrical background is quite different from Gryzb’s.
Campbell explained that she has been doing shows ever since she was seven and is excited to continue this passion in college.
Although unfamiliar with the play she was auditioning for, Campbell said, “I’m not familiar with it, but I did take the time to look it up and research. I was laughing when I first read about it, it’s pretty funny.”
Hopefuls will find out by the end of the week whether or not they made the final cut. Players will have the show ready for an audience on their opening night, Feb. 8 at 8:00pm in the box and are excited to begin work on the production.