Marble Falls theater students take leading role in ‘Shakespeare in Hollywood’
DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — When the Marble Falls High School cast and crew of the upcoming production of “Shakespeare in Hollywood” realized they weren’t where they needed to be in their rehearsals for the Oct. 24 opening, the students had a choice: Go with what they had or dig in and put in extra time on the stage.
“I was so proud of the kids,” theater arts teacher Jon Clark said. “They stepped up. They said, ‘We’re not where we need to be.’ The upper classmen said, ‘We need more rehearsals.'”
So two weeks out, the cast and crew packed more time on their already tight schedules. And every minute counted.
One day after a dinner break, Clark pulled up to the high school auditorium. He saw about 20 kids sitting outside the door waiting — for him. He was two minutes late.
“It was amazing,” he said. “They understand a good show isn’t going to just materialize, we have to work for it.”
The production opens Oct. 24 and continues Oct. 26-28 at the auditorium of the high school, 2101 Mustang Drive. The curtains go up 7 p.m. for each show except on Oct. 27, when it starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for students and may be purchased at the door.[box]IF YOU GO
WHAT: ‘Shakespeare in Hollywood’
WHEN: Opens Oct. 24 and continues Oct. 26-28; curtains go up 7 p.m. except for 2 p.m. show Oct. 27
WHERE: Auditorium at Marble Falls High School, 2101 Mustang Drive in Marble Falls
FOR MORE: Call (830) 693-4375[/box]
“Shakespeare in Hollywood” by Ken Ludwig throws a wrench in Williams Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The story is set in the 1930s when Max Reinhart is directing the play for a movie production. In Ludwig’s take, two of Shakespeare’s fairies, Oberon and Puck, are transported to the Hollywood set, and comedy ensues.
At first taken aback by their new surroundings, the two fairies become enamored by Hollywood and all its trappings.
“I’ve always liked Ken Ludwig’s works,” Clark said. “His stuff is very funny. This year, we have a big production class, so I wanted something that would have a lot of characters and give a lot of the kids stage time.”
Clark thought “Shakespeare in Hollywood” was a great fit, but he wasn’t sure if his students would like it. But when they read through the play earlier this year, laughs soon followed.
“The kids loved it, so the decision was made for me,” Clark said.
The students in his technical theater and production class began preparing for the show soon after school started in August. With any high school program, teachers worry about the students’ commitment, especially when they participate in so many other activities.
Clark admitted he held a similar concern. But the students quickly put it to rest.
“They worked their tails off,” he said.
And it wasn’t just the actors on stage. Students also built scenes, helped with costumes and ran the lights. For an audience to “suspend belief” for the 90 or so minutes of a play, every part of the production must work together, from the actors’ lines to the addition of lighting at just the right time.
While Clark could race around the set, barking orders or tackling the technical side himself, he preferred to let the students learn each part of theater production. In the end, he pointed out, it’s their show.
“One of my goals this year was to hold them responsible,” he said. “But they’re beginning to do it themselves. I’m so impressed with them.”
Call the high school at (830) 693-4375 for more information.