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By Erin Rogers 01
"If you love Shakespeare, you'll like this play," said Erik Bowie '00. "If you hate Shakespeare, you'll love this play."
With all of the Bard's bases covered, Bowie, Michael Eller '00 and Jordan Raphael '02 of Powder & Wig performed The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (abridged) at Thomas College on April 24 and in Colby's Strider Theater May 4 and 15. Powder & Wig has been presenting this play for several years, with different casts every year, always drawing an enthusiastic crowd.
Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield and originally produced by The Reduced Shakespeare Company, the show is based on a simpleif ambitiouspremise: to perform all of Shakespeare's 37 plays in just over an hour and a half. The cast pulls this off through a combination of improvisation and audience interaction, all the while keeping one goal in mindto make fun of Shakespeare.
Eller, Bowie and Raphael took the play on tour during spring break this year, presenting the "Compleat Works" at Keene High School in New Hampshire and the Vergennes Opera House in Vermont. "It was a whole lot of fun," said stage manager Stacy Erickson '01. The cast was joined on the tour by Erickson and two wardrobers, ElizabethWatters '02 and Margaret Stone '01.
According to Eller, performing this work is all about drawing energy from the audience. "The scenes are tedious in rehearsal," he said. "So much of the show depends on the audience."
Powder & Wig's casts through the years have added a distinctive flavor to this crazy production. Many of the play's best jokes are those set by the actors. They involve references to Star Wars, career services appointments, a crush on Britney Spears and a spoof on the Gabriella Martinelli version of the movie Romeo and Juliet starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio. "I just sit in the booth and laugh," said Erickson, who has done a bit of Shakespeare herself, playing Lady Macbeth in Colby's production of Macbeth last fall.
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