“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” coming soon

Published 9:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2022

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The LaFayette Society of Performing Arts will soon premiere “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).” The play takes Shakespeare’s iconic literature and transforms it into a physical, fast-paced, witty comedy.

Originally written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield in 1987, the play was written as a parody of all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays with all of them being performed in a shortened comedic form by three to 20 actors.

Historically, the play would go on to become famous internationally and earn the title of London’s longest-running comedy.

“Performing all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays and 154 sonnets in less than two hours is going to definitely be a comic endeavor,” Director Jeff Sargent said. “One need not to know anything about Shakespeare to enjoy this play. But if you are familiar with Shakespeare, you’ll get a few more of the jokes.”

The play is known for actors using their real names and playing themselves rather than specific characters from each play. Actors will speak directly to the audience during much of the play and some scenes even involve audience participation. On occasion, the director and stage crew are known to be directly involved in the performance and become characters themselves.

During the show, improvisation plays an important part, and it’s normal for the actors to deviate from the script and have spontaneous conversations about the material with each other or the audience.

The cast of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare includes Beth McClanahan, Cathy Hunt, Melissa Stanley, Jackson Taylor, Ana Vega, Campbell Vice, Garrett Dye, Calvin Booth, John Barfield, Emmi Horlander, Garner Dorminy and James Dorminy.

“This show is absolutely hilarious whether or not you know Shakespeare. It’s high energy and raucous and a great deal of fun,” Hunt said.

McClanahan is an associate professor of mathematics at LaGrange College. In the past, she has done a lot of acting. Her role will mark her return theater after a long hiatus. Hunt is the chairwoman of the Troup County School Board and has performed with the LSPA many times with her last role being Joy in Shadowlands. James Dorminy is a long-time LSPA actor and has enjoyed the opportunity to play a diverse list of characters.

Stanley is a math teacher at Callaway High School and excited at the opportunity to express herself on the stage. Taylor is a senior at Troup High School, and this production will be his 10th year of doing theater. Vega is a freshman at Troup High School. This role will be her second with the first being “Elf the Musical.”

Vice is a junior at LaGrange High School and has recently been a part of three LSPA productions. Dye is a long-time actor of LSPA, this will be his fifth LSPA production. Booth is an aspiring personal trainer and works to promote mental health for those working in the film and theater industry.

Barfield is a local performer who has a diverse theatrical background with some roles in the Lafayette Ballet Company. Horlander is a senior at LaGrange Academy, and this will be her first play as an actress for LSPA. Garner Dorminy is a senior at Springwood School and had been involved in theater for four years.

“It’s been wonderful working with this terrific cast,” Sargent said. “You will see some new faces on the LSPA stage as we continue to build our company by inviting in new talent. We encourage people to come and be a part of our plays”

“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” will premiere on the LSPA stage Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. For more information on show times and to buy tickets visit www.lsparts.org.