MTS rehearses for Shakespeare comedy

Tommy Wolters

Malvern Prep, Villa Maria, and Notre Dame prepare to perform “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” this fall.

Ciara Kelley, VMA '20 & Charlie Sayers '20 rehearse / T. Pero
Ciara Kelley, VMA ’20 & Charlie Sayers ’20 rehearse / T. Pero

Malvern Theatre Society is in the process of preparing for “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” by practicing after school and weekends. The show opens at the Duffy Arts Center on Friday, November 4.

The show has all of William Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. It is a fast firing comedy consisting of 37 plays and a mix of 154 sonnets written by the master himself, according to senior actor Nick Gatti.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Tickets for performances Nov. 4-5, 11-12 available online[/perfectpullquote]

Director Dr. Jim Fry picked this show because, “It’s something that’s never been done before. It’s comedy. It’s audience interactive. It affords everyone the opportunity to act— to play different roles, guys playing girls [and] girls playing guys,” he said. “It’s funny. It’s hilarious.”

Gatti has been a member of MTS since freshman year. “I fell in love with the theatre program at Malvern during the first tryouts,”Gatti said. “The people involved and the opportunities sparked my interest right away.”

Gatti is very excited for the upcoming performance. “The play is about three guys performing every show in one hour and 30 minutes and it is a parody of all of them,” Gatti said. “It’s going to be a great show and an even better time performing it.”

There are three main characters that perform over 70 characters. According to Gatti, these roles will be split up among MTS cast members, so it is not just three actors throughout the whole performance.

“A large scale play like this requires an enthusiastic cast, experienced stage crew, and a superb group of instructors,” Gatti said. “There are about 25 guys and 15 girls, which is a total cast of about 40 members.”

Kelly Mulhern, senior MTS member from Villa Maria Academy, has high expectations for the upcoming play. Mulhern has been acting for almost her entire life and has plenty of experience.

“I have made new friends since freshman year, and now we are a family after being together for four years,” Mulhern said.

Audience members will be pulled up on stage during the show, Mulhern said. “The audience can look forward to lots of engagement.”

Mulhern said that the stress level is low for most cast members right now. “Everyone is working on getting their lines down and becoming confident with their parts,” she said.

Senior stage manager Andrew Ritter predicts that the stress level will be going up soon. “It’s a mixture of anxiety, needing to throw up, and pure excitement before the start of the play,” Ritter said.

Ritter has been a part of stage crew for four years and loves it. He and his stage crew members have lots of work cut out for themselves in the upcoming weeks, especially during tech week.

Tech week is the week-long period where all members of the play stay late at night to dot the i’s and cross the t’s of the performance, according to Ritter. It is a very stressful time for the members, with many hours spent perfecting the performance.

Even though Ritter is not performing directly in front of the audience, the performers rely on his accuracy and perfection. “It’s far from easy,” Ritter said. “If we screw up, it can possibly ruin the entire play.”

Gatti is excited for the play and predicts that the crowd will have an amazing time. “Be prepared for yet another great performance by MTS,” he said.

“[The show] is a crash course in Shakespeare itself. If you could take every Sparknote and Cliff Note that’s out there, that’s what you see on the stage,” Fry said. “Thirty-seven plays, 97 minutes. I’m highly anticipating that there will not be a dry seat in the house.”

Story produced in senior Journalism and Media Literacy elective class.