Oceanside’s High School students rolled out the red carpet for its much-anticipated performance of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] [again]” — on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18.
Featured are all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays, meant to be performed in less than two hours with a fast-paced, witty, and comical touch.
Theatre teacher Michelle Taplin has been directing school shows since 2018 and said the production was full of laughs since the students started rehearsing the play at the end of September.
“It’s always a joy,” Taplin said. “They work so incredibly hard. Every rehearsal, (the students) bring new excitement and they learn about their characters. They try new things.
“They take risks. We have a lot of fun, we laugh, and we have a blast. It’s always challenging putting on a show. There are a lot of props in the show. Getting all those pieces together as one is always a challenge but not one that we can’t handle.”
For Taplin, juggling many roles can be tricky, but theater has been her passion for many years, which she shares with her students and production team.
Dylan Campbell, a junior at Oceanside High School, has been performing in plays since the fifth grade but last week was his first Shakespeare performance.
“It’s a very different experience and the fact that it’s not strictly Shakespeare there’s a twist of funny so it’s very different than any other show,” he said.
Travis Youssef is a freelance choreographer who has been helping in play production at Oceanside since 2017 and said it’s been great to be able to share Shakespeare in a different fashion.
“This form is so much fun and there are so many jokes and it doesn’t have to be so serious,” Youssef said.
“It hopefully will make a lot of the audience appreciate Shakespeare and maybe give them education about it. I love being able to come here and give back. I remember being a high school theatre kid, we didn’t have a choreographer come in, or bringing in professionals from outside so kids can see and hear their stories.”
— Kepherd Daniel