NEWBERRY — A group of young player have been working to learn Shakespeare since August and this weekend they will put on a production for the community.
The Newberry Community Players will present the youth production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream starting Friday at the Ritz.
The production has been a work in progress, said director and teacher Ellen Hunt.
Calab Lawrimore says the actors have had to learn a new way of acting for the play. The young actor says the process and presentation presented on stage to do Shakespeare is much different than modern plays.
He said one thing is in the Shakespearean days the audience was so far away from the actors that the verbal portion is different.
The students also have had to learn the Shakespearean language, which is different than today’s talking.
The group adds that there have also been daily history lessons and tons of questions about things in the play.
While the students are learning about the play some say it has related to their school work.
But the play process has been a bit like school.
Those in the play have had practice two to three hours a day for five days a week since August.
In addition to the practicing, they have had to learn lines in their off time and are required to keep up their grades at school.
But the students are the ones who asked Hunt if they could do Shakespeare.
Hunt stated, “The teens actually asked to do Shakespeare. We tackled the words first. Talking about what Shakespeare meant. We even had mini-history lessons at rehearsal. Then, we added movement and blocking. We gave ourselves extra rehearsal time and the students really took to the story -who wouldn’t when you are telling a story with practical jokes, love, revenge, and envy as topics.”
“We strive to do better,” said Lea Toby, of the youth’s request.
While Samantha Knight adds the other plays the youth have done have all been in modern language.
In addition to learning about a different Anna Craven says the fairies in the play have had to learn to float on stage.
Also this is one of the first times many of the young people have preformed in the Ritz and the players have had to learn how their voice carries in the large theatre and to listen for their echos and to find their focus points while talking.
The students in the play are from all three county high and middle schools and there is one student in the play that goes to Reuben Elementary.
In “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” the Duke of Athens is getting married and everyone is invited to the festivities. An acting troupe has arrived, fairies are up to their old tricks, and love is in the air as NCP’s Young Players frolic through this famous Shakespeare comedy.
The students will perform the play on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students. Groups of $15 and more get a special rate of $5 a person.
Advance tickets are available through the Newberry Opera House Box Office at 276-6264 or online at newberryoperahouse.com. A $1 facility fee per ticket and a $3 per order handling fee will be charged.
Tickets will also be available at the door.