Actor Kurt Brighton never expected to play a blood covered, butcher-knife-carrying, Shakespearean Julia Childs. But thatâ€™s exactly what he gets to do in â€œThe Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).â€
The play, produced by OpenStage Theatre and Company, covers 37 of William Shakespeareâ€™s works in just over two hours, summarizing and skewering his beloved plays in-between pop culture references, audience participation and improv. It runs at the Masonic Temple until February 13.
â€œI liken directing the play to a pack of rabid, insane cats,â€ said Brenna Freestone, the director of the production. â€œItâ€™s pure chaos. Every show is a bit different.â€
â€œThe Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)â€ only involves three actors, who play a variety of roles. Though they are clad in traditional Shakespearean garb, the actors say that the play is anything but traditional.
â€œPeople usually think of Shakespeare as dry and tragic, anything but really, really funny,â€ Brighton said. â€œBut the show is a hurricane of funny. The jokes keep coming at you; itâ€™s exhausting almost.â€
Despite the comic and laidback approach of the show, the cast has been rehearsing since early November, attributing hard work to the playâ€™s success.
â€œPutting on this show all comes down to practice, practice, practice,â€ Freestone said. â€œThe show depends on tons of preparation. It takes a lot of hard work to be as crazy as possible, which is what we are striving for.â€
For CSU students, the play is an interesting opportunity to get in touch with Shakespeareâ€™s work.
â€œThe play is really funny, while at the same time it stays true to Shakespeareâ€™s artistic vision,â€ said undeclared freshman Spencer Topa. â€œPeople donâ€™t usually think about it, but Shakespeare and comedy mix very easily.â€
The Masonic Temple is located at 225 West Oak St., and tickets start at $15 for students. Performances will be held on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with matinee performances on Sundays at 2 p.m.
â€œAudiences have really appreciated the humor and improv, so weâ€™re really pleased with the production so far,â€ Freestone said.
Assistant News Editor Allison Sylte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.