The Chawanakee Academy’s drama club will present "A Night of Shakespeare," a performance of 3 acts from "Midsummer's Night Dream," "Macbeth," and "Drop Dead Juliet," at their 13th annual silent auction and dinner theater event.
"Drop Dead, Juliet," is a comedic adaption of Shakespeare's classic Romeo and Juliet. Riddled with sword fights and laughter, Juliet wants to tell a new story, one that does not involve poison, stabbing and her death. After a relentless attempt to convince Shakespeare to change the script, Juliet learns, sometimes things are better left untouched.
Last summer, teacher and director Becky Cairns, took the drama club to Ashland's Shakepeare Festival in Oregon. There the students were inspired and eager to attempt the daunting range of Shakespearean tragedy and comedy.
"I knew they could handle the challenge and I am so proud of them, the caliber of the entertainment is reflected by all their hard work, and their investment in the subject matter - the evening will promise a lot of laughter and enjoyment," said Cairns.
The majority of the cast are deeply enthusiastic about the spoof but Ben Johnson, a senior and 8 year veteran of the club, is more delighted about taking on the responsibility of classic Shakespeare.
"I'm really excited to be able to perform some of the greatest literature of all time - and try to do it justice," Johnson said about his role as Macbeth. "Shakespeare was a word smith and sometimes it gets difficult when he creates weird imagery but after a couple of re-reads you begin to get it."
The students have choreographed dance scenes and impressive sword fights on their own. According to Cairns she works with the students to customize theater pieces to their talents and understanding.
Arden Lynch, 9, is one of the youngest performers in the cast. Though this is not his first time on stage with the drama club, it is his first performance with a line.
Lynch, who is playing Friar John, in "Drop Dead Juliet," shared how he prepared for his role. " Miss Becky taught me you have to have the personality of your character, my character is agreeable yet strong and it definitely comes through when I deliver my line," said Lynch.
This is the clubs only fundraiser and proceeds from the silent auction go to supplies for the club and scholarships for the graduates. The academy offers alternative education for independent studies and home school students.
Amanda Page, a sophomore playing Lady Montigue, discussed why she is passionate about the club. "It's important because this is a home school program, it allows us to come to school, meet new people, and make friends- and it's also really really fun."
The dinner, silent auction, and night of theater takes place Friday, April 27 at Sierra Pines Church. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m., with show time an hour later.
Tickets are $12 for adults, and $5 for children age 10 and under. A silent auction will take place throughout the performances, and a chicken dinner will be served.
Advanced tickets can be purchased by calling (559) 868-4200.