Some Liberty County High School students seem to recite Shakespearian dialogue as easily as they text or Twitter-speak.
Members of the school’s drama club have spent countless hours rehearsing a fast-paced version of William Shakespeare’s bawdy comedy, “The Taming of the Shrew.”
The production will be staged at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday at the Liberty County Schools Performing Arts Center. Admission is $5. Liberty County School students can get in free with a student ID.
“We’re trying to encourage students to see Shakespeare,” Mike Collins, drama club coach, said. “And this is a fun play. They’ve made it very physical which really appeals to the younger kids.”
Collins is assisted by volunteer co-directors Sarah Noel and John Jenkinson. Sarah Wright is the student director. Leading cast members include Charlotte Norsworthy as headstrong Katherina, considered a shrew by her contemporaries. CoShawn Egan portrays devilishly clever Petruchio and Timothy Wainwright plays Baptista, the long-suffering father anxious to marry off his eldest daughter. Erin Campbell plays Bianca, Baptista’s younger daughter, and LeMarcus Baugh and Brandon Pack play Hortensio and Lucentio, respectively, Bianca’s suitors.
Most of the club’s 40 members are involved in one way or another, whether they’re in the cast or the crew, Collins said. Students act, change sets, and work sound or lighting. The colorful and detailed costumes were sewn by Samone Norsworthy, president of the LCHS Drama Booster Club. Many of the costumes began as clothing from Goodwill, he said.
The booster club helps raise funds to pay for such production expenses as costumes, makeup, lighting and sets, Collins said. Corporate sponsors also help, he added.
“What we charge for tickets pays for rights (royalties) for the play,” the coach said.
The club’s “The Taming of the Shrew” took second place at a one-act play competition organized by the Georgia State Literacy Division on Oct. 25. The play won for best costume and Wainwright and Alec Wimmer, who plays Biondello, were named All Star Cast Members.
Last year, the club placed third in the regional competition with Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.”
The club plans to perform the musical “Curtains” in the spring. Collins said auditions should be held in about two weeks.
Several club members intend to pursue performing arts careers.
“I’m just in love with the performance aspect that is theater,” Norsworthy said. “It just clicks.”
She said her parents majored in theater in college and, along with her teachers and fellow students, support her aspirations. Collins said the Norsworthys produce short films and own Wonder Worthy Productions based in Midway.
Norsworthy lived in New York City and performed off Broadway, and auditioned for Broadway. The LCHS junior said rejection is just a part of the entertainment industry.
“You take it as a patch on your back and you keep going,” she said.
Norsworthy said theater helped her become more academically disciplined, and builds confidence.
Egan, who moved to Liberty County last year, has auditioned to get in Savannah College of Art and Design, and will audition in Atlanta for the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in March.
Egan said he previously focused on dramatic roles, but now he enjoys comedy.
“Before I came here I never did anything comic,” Egan said. “You just don’t know what is going to make someone laugh.”
Wainwright, who joined drama club last year, said plays are like books come to life on stage.
“I think that’s why I like acting; it’s like you’re in the book,” he said.