Holcomb students put spin on Shakespeare plays
By RACHAEL GRAY
Some Holcomb High School students are learning about Shakespeare.
They may even be experts.
The public can judge for themselves this weekend when the group of student-actors present "I Hate Shakespeare," a play with a series of literal, contemporary interpretations of Shakespeare's most famous plays.
In one scene, the actors portray the characters from Othello using a Jerry Springer skit.
Senior Madison Witzke, 17, plays a hillbilly version of Desdemona, who is killed by Othello after he is manipulated to do so by Iago.
Witzke, as Desdemona, goes on to an episode of "Jerry Springer" "as a zombie to confront Othello and Iago. The truth comes out, and she is angry.
"Y'all are dumb," she says at the end of the scene.
Witzke said the play has been fun to do.
"What I liked most is having Mr. Boller as the director. It's a fun change of pace," she said.
The play is directed by Sean Boller, the vocal music teacher at HHS and Holcomb Middle School.
Witzke said she enjoys making Shakespeare relatable.
"It's still relevant today. Your friends can still influence you to make poor decisions, like staying out all night or going to a party you're not supposed to," she said.
It's the first play for senior Kalen Savoy, 17.
He said he wanted to try something different his senior year. It's been a great experience, he said.
"This is not like normal plays. It's got zombies, death and decapitation," he said.
Senior Caleb Stewart, 18, is one of the zombies that is portrayed in a scene based on Richard III.
"I'm a zombie. It's a lot of fun," he said.
Senior Jentry Gill, 18, plays a variety of characters in the play.
"It's fun, really. If you don't really like Shakespeare, this will help you understand. It's a good comedy," he said.
Senior Madisen Sater, 17, is in the school play for the first time.
She's been in forensics before and decided to join. She plays several different characters.
"I really like the Springer scene. It's pretty comical," she said.
Senior Valerie Lindskog, 18, has been in two other school plays. Her favorite part is being directed by Boller.
"We have a new director, and it's fun. He knows what he's doing, and he has a fun, spunky personality," she said.
Boller said he chose the play because it plays to the talents of the cast. He also said the different scenes would help in case the cast was low in numbers.
The play also will help people understand Shakespeare.
"If you don't like or understand it, you will after this play," he said.
Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students.