Twenty-five students are having fun bringing Shakespeare to life at the 16th Annual Senior Summer Theatre Camp.
During camp the students receive instruction in acting, stage production, lighting, sound, crafts related to theatre and costuming. Because they are doing Shakespeare this year, the students were able to pull costumes from the Playhouse’s vast store of Shakespearean costumes. Since they didn’t have to make the costumes, the students had plenty of time to star in their own television commercial which airs on Channel 27.
“It really came out looking amazing,” said camp director Jay Berckes.
Jillian Carlon, 17, who plays Mercutio in a scene from “Hamlet” joined theatre camp after her stepmon told her about it.
“Oh my gosh, I love it. I’m not gonna lie,” said Carlon. “I was like, I’m not doing anything else this summer so I might as well do something I love.”
In a twist Shakespeare would love, Carlon had to learn how to play a male, a role she initially found challenging.
“It’s just like taking things from your point of view as a chick and then getting to add this whole dude persona to it. Get to act like a dude, get to walk like one, sword fight like one, die like one. I like it,” said Carlon. “Getting into a different character is just like, instead of being yourself all the time you’re getting to learn the different aspects of being someone else and letting go of your problems and taking on a different character.”
Berckes said he believes audience members will find inspiration into Shakespeare’s plays with the students’ production of “The Bard.”
“If you don’t like Shakespeare…it’s because you find it boring. You’ve been forced to read Shakespeare in high school and college…but you have no idea really what you’re talking about,” said Berckes. “Shakespeare would agree with you. Don’t read my work. Don’t analyze my work. Come see my plays. See them, and when you see them and they’re acted correctly, and interpreted with passion as these kids are doing, it changes the words and brings them to life.”
The first act of “The Bard” is a Shakespeare anthology which tells the story of Shakespeare’s school, birth and life and then moves into some of his common phrases which are still used today. The act ends with an insult fest of the audience. The second act features six scenes from Shakespeare’s best known plays—“Romeo and Juliet,” “Twelfth Night,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Merry Wives of Windor,” and “Hamlet.”
“We’re throwing some surprises into each one of these as well,” said Berckes.
The Palmdale Playhouse Senior Summer Theatre Camp will present three performances of “The Bard” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 3 and Saturday, August 4 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 5 at the Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th Street East in Palmdale.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, students, military and youth 12 and under. For more information call the Playhouse box office at (661) 267-5684.
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