The Blair Academy Players’ “Year of Shakespeare” commenced October 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. with "Shakespeare in Love" in the Wean Studio Theatre. Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Lee Hall’s stage adaptation is praised by the Daily Express as “an absolute joy from beginning to end.”
Veteran theatre teacher and director Craig Evans has been directing plays at Blair for 28 years and says his favorite part is the “team aspect” of the productions. With this season’s play, he noted, “Everybody has a lot to do.”
The romantic comedy centers on Will Shakespeare (Julian Perello ’24), an Elizabethan playwright struggling to write his next great work, and Viola de Lesseps (Julia Twomey ’24), who will stop at nothing to star in it. The two enter into an illicit affair filled with love, drama and theatre, inspiring one of Shakespeare’s most starry-eyed tales.
Julia echoed Mr. Evans’ sentiments about the camaraderie felt among the Players. “The community has always been my favorite part of being in a show,” she said. “The people you meet and the friendships you make in a cast are so special.”
As Viola in Shakespeare in Love, Julia admitted that one of her favorite parts of this season has been the new additions to the Players cast list. “Working with new actors and seeing them perform is fun,” she raved. “Despite this, I also really love getting to work with veteran castmates, since I know how well they perform, and I know it's going to make the show even better!”
When it comes to Shakespeare in Love, both Julia and Mr. Evans agree that the audience should be excited for a play that honors their shared passion: the stage.
“Don’t be intimidated by Shakespeare being in the title!” Julia advised. “If you think Shakespeare is boring, let this play prove you wrong. Also, If you’re a lover of the theatre, this show is for you.”
The Blair Academy Players’ "Celebration of the Bard" does not end this fall. Blair’s demisemiseptcentennial anniversary will be highlighted with a continuation of Shakespeare throughout the year, including February’s musical, Something Rotten!, set in the time period following Shakespeare’s success when he can only be outdone by the world’s first musical. The Players will cap off the year with a spring outdoor production of Love’s Labour’s Lost, when four young men fall unexpectedly in love and must choose between desires of the heart and mind.
To see more photos from the play, please check out Blair Academy on Photoshelter.