Whether you're a fan of the "Bard of Avon" or not, the Mid-Ohio Valley Players' latest production, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), promises to be some wild entertainment that kicks off Friday at the MOVP theater in Marietta.
The comedic condensation of Shakespeare's 37 plays is performed by six actors in a space of less than two hours. It was London's longest-running comedy, according to Kevin Paskawych who's directing the play for MOVP.
"It's a high-energy, highbrow comedy that I think translates very well between the actors and the audience," he said. "And it's definitely not your typical Shakespeare play-the actors get the audience on their feet and involved. No one will be bored."
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
From left, Ray Ryan, George Littman, and J.R. Wells rehearse a scene from a slightly askew version of Romeo and Juliet that will be part of the Mid-Ohio Valley Players production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), opening Friday night at the MOVP Theater on Putnam Street in Marietta.
Paskawych said the play opens with what is intended to be a lecture on Shakespeare, but the audience quickly learns these lecturers must have only read the "Cliff Notes" versions of the bard's works.
He said while folks familiar with Shakespeare will likely catch some of the play's more subtle humor, the production is geared to elicit a lot of laughs from audiences of every background.
The six-member cast includes Raymond Ryan, Karen Pratt, George J.R. Wells, Tara Polan, George Litman, and Hannah Taylor.
If you go:
What-The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Where-The Mid-Ohio Valley Players, 229 Putnam St., Marietta
When-Sept. 23, 24 and 30 at 8 p.m.; Oct. 1, 7 and 8 at 8 p.m.; and Oct. 2 at 3 p.m.
Prices-Adults $10; Seniors/Students $8; Youth $5
Tickets-Buy online at midohiovalleyplayers.org, at Marty's Print Shop, 307 Third St., Marietta, or at the theater box office that opens at 5 p.m. prior to the plays through Oct. 1. Box office opens at 1 p.m. Oct. 2.
Advance tickets available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and advance tickets entitle purchasers to a 15 percent discount on dinner at select area restaurants. Ask about the Dinner and a Show promotion.
"This has been the funniest play to work on-it's pure madcap with a lot of costume changes throughout," said Ryan, a 14-play veteran with the Mid-Ohio Valley Players.
"This type of production is also a first for the players," he added. "But most of the actors have worked together multiple times-we're super excited and hope the community will come out and enjoy this play."
This is Paskawych's directorial debut for the MOVP.
"I directed a couple of productions in college, but this is my third year with the players and the opportunity came up, so I decided to get my feet wet again," he said. "And this play has been fantastic to work on."
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), originally hit the stage in 1988, Paskawych explained.
"It's still on tour internationally, but has also become a staple for college and community theater," he said. "And the script is updated every four to five years to keep up with current events. We worked with scripts from both 1989 and 2000.
"This was created as a very free production-we've even added a few of our own touches," Paskawych said. "And even though it's a hilarious comedy, I think the audience will also learn some facts about William Shakespeare they may have not known."