Eagle Valley High School’s ‘Shakespeare Over Easy’ takes a hilarious look at The Bard’s best work
If You Go ...
What: “Shakespeare Over Easy,” presented by the Eagle Valley High School drama department.
Where: Eagle Valley High School auditorium, 641 Valley Road, Gypsum.
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, and Friday, Nov. 13.
Tickets: $7, or $5 for students and seniors. Buy tickets at the door.
More information: Call the high school at 970-328-8960.
GYPSUM — Wild William Shakespeare asked the immortal question, “What do women want?”
If Shakespeare, with his sonnets, frilly shirts, knickers and knee socks, couldn’t figure it out, then what chance do the rest of us have?
Eagle Valley High School’s drama department will help you answer that.
If you’re Brennecke Gale, Alissa Barry and Natalie Marner, then women want people to laugh, especially at Shakespeare.
“Shakespeare Over Easy” is student-written satire, poking fun at most things Shakespearean. It’s a “Saturday Night Live”-style interpretation of Shakespeare’s most famous works.
“Shakespeare Over Easy” is hilarious, heartwarming and inspiring — all the stuff your high school English teacher insisted Shakespeare was supposed to be, which you still don’t believe. Nevertheless, you were forced to read it.
This is Shakespeare as you and your buddies used to lampoon him when your teacher wasn’t looking.
Overcash rides again
James Overcash thought of it because he has never seen a box he couldn’t think outside of. He teaches some drama and other life skills at Eagle Valley High School. One day, in a lightening bolt of inspiration, he presented the idea of Shakespearean satire to that drama class.
“It’s a veritable cornucopia of interpretive Shakespeare,” Overcash said.
It’s also really funny.
Gale, Barry and Marner are in that drama class. They heard the idea and started doing all the wonderful (and sometimes horrible) things you wanted to do, but your English teacher was threatening to write on your permanent record that you’re a beslubbering beef-witted slobber-bottom. (No one could call you down like Shakespeare.)
Anyway, they started pouring elements of various Shakespearean plays into comedy. Some of Shakespeare’s stuff is so satire-worthy that it appears more than once.
“All the pieces have a different take on them,” Gale said.
“Romeo and Juliet” is ridiculous, just so you know. Romeo’s 15, Juliet’s 13, they’re together three days, and six people die. Ridiculous.
Still, Cece Solis wrote an original scene that sees Shakespeare giving advice to high school students. Juliet walks in and … well, it’s really funny.
Here’s the pitch
The cast and crew reach well outside Eagle Valley’s drama department. Gale isn’t sure how many students are involved.
“Enough to fill the stage with humor,” she said.
They started rehearsals about a month and a half ago, and since they wrote most of the material, they went through the standard team-writing process:
Someone pitches an idea.
The idea is declared genius or junk.
Spirited and enlightened debate ensues.
Even good stuff sometimes winds up on the floor.
For example …
“I had this scene that I thought was going to be the highlight of the show,” Gale said. “We put it on stage and it didn’t work at all. All kinds of other ideas went on stage and we could see it’s perfect.”
What’s left works.
Erik Forbes, for example, gives us a quick lesson on iambic pentameter — sonnets that have 10 syllables per line — and how modern rap sometimes works the same way.
Bronwyn Crick is Hermia and gets in a knock-down, drag-out fight over a version of unrequited love.
Gage Harper plays a wall, the world’s only funny wall, and also portrays a fine Prospero.
Leslie Molinar plays a slightly psychotic character, which is not much of a stretch for a Shakespeare character.
Haley Pope is Kate of “Kate and Petrucio” fame, who has to do everything but throttle the guy because he won’t stop proclaiming his undying love and devotion.
“She doesn’t want anything like that,” Pope said.