The Department of Theatre’s final spring production stands in sharp comedic contrast to the department’s previous two shows. The large cast and a dizzying mix of historical and fantastical elements combine to make Shakespeare in Hollywood a funny, fast-moving farce.
Shakespeare in Hollywood, written by Ken Ludwig, is based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and is technically classified as a 1930s screwball comedy. The show is mainly about two characters, Oberon and Puck, who are magically transported from their Shakespearean world to Hollywood where they end up playing themselves in a movie.
Peter Hargrave, sophomore musical theatre major from Amarillo, plays Oberon, who falls in love with the leading woman in the movie. He said he thinks the show is a good way to end the season, especially after the dramatic winter shows.
“It’s a good contrast to the last two; people can come and just watch and have a good time,” Hargrave said.
Director Kari Hatfield, assistant professor of theatre, has directed productions at smaller universities in the past; however, this is her first time to direct a play for ACU. She said she is excited about the production as well.
“It combines the intricacy of Shakespeare and the fact that a lot of them [the cast] are playing people that actually lived makes it a good challenge,” Hatfield said.
The first-time director said she also has loved working with the cast and crew. Despite rehearsing from 7-11 p.m. most nights of the week, Hatfield said she loves everyone’s collaborative spirit and the fun nature of the show.
“It’s definitely not one of those shows where you have to be all reverent because it’s Shakespeare. It’s actually kind of making fun of the fact that Hollywood kind of exploited Shakespeare at the time,” Hatfield said. “We just hope that people enjoy the show and word gets out about how fun it is.”
The show will run April 15-17 and April 22-24 in Fulks Theatre. Tickets can be purchased by calling the ACU Box Office at 674-2787.