Winter Play Review

After two years of online accommodations and COVID-19 protocols, the theater department made its way back to the stage to perform the winter play, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” in front of a live audience.

Dare Fitzpatrick

The Laguna Blanca Reduced Shakespeare Company’s, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” premiered on Feb. 11. 

Students in the Play Production class returned to the stage two years after the last in-person, live performance of “Anatomy of Gray” in Dec. 2020. 

The audience was excited to be in Spaulding Theater to see a live performance. 

“It was really great to have such an amazing reception for something we worked on for so long,” said junior Luca D’Agruma. 

Due to COVID-19 protocols, the cast and crew faced adversities in the play’s production. 

“Our show was the week following coming back from [winter] break, and that was when Omicron happened—that really derailed everything we had going because a lot of our cast was out on Zoom,” Luca said. 

Brad Elliot

“We were all on our heels almost every day that the performance was pushed back. We first heard we were going to be delayed, and then we had to reconsider some obstacles, like last year, doing it with film instead of a live performance,” senior Foster Smith said. “It was all just really nerve racking since we put so much work into it, and one of our classes was put into this play, so the thought that it could be taken away was very scary.” 

In addition to the adaptations necessary for meeting COVID-19 protocols, this production had other, new facets. 

Senior Madeleine Nicks served as an assistant director to play production instructor and performing arts department chair Dana Caldwell for this play. 

Brad Elliot

“As assistant director, my main roles were basically to just be Caldwell’s right hand woman,” Madeleine said. 

“I’ve had an interest in directing for a long time— it’s always been something I’ve been interested in, but we don’t offer any class or any avenue to pursue that at this school. So, I talked to Caldwell about it, and she gave me the opportunity to be with her through casting and rehearsing.” 

The cast members, Caldwell and Madeleine, worked collaboratively to make the play personal to their cast. 

“I think something we kept saying through the whole show, and especially the closer we got to performing it, was that it felt like one, big inside joke to us,” Madeleine said. 

“Anything we were laughing at, anything we found funny made its way into the show. It was really just a representation of our collective sense of humor so any modern jokes, any little bits, many of those came from us, our brains, and it just came about very naturally.”