The coronavirus can’t stop the Ramsey High School Drama Club! With some brilliant out-of-the-box thinking from Mr. Gipple, Mr. Saras, and Mr. Veit, the theater program is alive and well! On Wednesday, October 28th and Friday, October 30th, the drama club performed The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) in a socially distanced setting. Instead of the typical auditorium setting, this play was performed outside on the new stairs, complete with six feet of distance and plenty of masks.
The play, written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Windfield, parodies Shakespeare’s plays and makes even the saddest tragedy a side splitting comedy. The Drama Club is putting their own spin on the play, which was originally performed by three actors who got up close and personal, by expanding the cast and spacing out the action. Many moments in the show prove that the spacing does not take away the physical comedy, and in fact adds an extra layer of wackiness. For example, the classic sword fights that grace the pages of Shakespeare’s works become even more epic when the actors’ swords cannot actually touch. “We’re a lot more expressive and are really pushing the limits of physicalization and volume. It’s different than anything we’ve done before, since we can’t rely on facial expressions,” said Grace Bickerstaffe, who plays one of the six narrators. They act as recurring characters while the others all come and go in their respected plays. Many actors have more than one part, like Maddie Keane, who appears in Titus Andronicus, Macbeth, and Hamlet. With the size of the cast, the doubling and even tripling of roles lends itself extremely well.
Just like all aspects of current life, the drama club has had to grow and change to fit the times, but this play has proved to be an enjoyable and educational experience for all involved. The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) proves that theater can be performed in so many different ways. Even with all the obstacles, the essence of the RHS Drama Club is still alive and well!