WHS theater takes on Shakespeare


Photo courtesy of Set Designers Roy Chambers and Jack Frankola, WHS class of 2016

Digital rendering of the set for Much Ado About Nothing

WHS Theater is finally back with their first in-person play in over 18 months. The upcoming Shakespearean play, Much Ado About Nothing, is set to take place in the WHS auditorium on Nov. 18, 19 and 20. The two main characters, Benedick and Beatrice, are played by juniors Evan Leone and Zoe Greenzang.

The comedy, written by William Shakespeare, set in Messina, Italy, highlights two couples on a journey of misunderstanding, deception and love. This is considered one of Shakespeare’s best comedies as it combines amusement with lessons of honor and shame.

Senior Alyrie Silverman, who plays Margaret, noted the humor in the play. “My character is very close to the protagonists, Beatrice and Hero, and she cracks many unintentional jokes that provide a comedic break to the intensity of the plot.”

In order to capture their emotions, the cast must learn the ins and outs of their characters, while also mastering Early Modern English. “I always have to remember that Shakespeare characters are not modern people living in the same world, though they have a lot of the same motives,” Silverman said. “The weeks we spend diving into why we say the things we say and how we relate to the other characters in the show prepares us to execute the best show we possibly can.”

Even though the language is difficult, Theater Director Daniel Devlin said, “The cast and crew are outstanding. Ninety percent of the cast, if not more, know what they are saying in terms of Shakespeare.”

Although the Theater Department is back, they still have to follow COVID-19 protocols while practic- ing and performing. It is currently expected that the entire audience, cast and crew will have to be fully masked during the performance. Devlin said, “Act Two and Act Five involve wearing masks. I had a feel- ing we would have to be masked on stage so I thought I would try to incorporate that into the show.”

While the cast of the show has been hard at work, the crew has also started to put a number of hours into the physical production of the play. Stage manager, junior Ryan Karlin said, “The specifics of the design are going to be kept as a surprise, but I can say the audience will get a kick out of what we have planned.”

Despite the fact that the theater community suffered an 18-month break from in-person performances, they are ready to come back stronger than ever with a comedic, lighthearted Shakespearean performance.