Final play of Winter semester: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)”
The HFC Department of Theatre does its rather unique and offbeat take on the Bard himself, William Shakespeare, with 37 plays, three actors, and one inflatable Godzilla – yes, Godzilla – in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), its final play for the 2022-23 academic year.
The play will be in the Adray Auditorium (Rm. F-100) in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center (Bldg. F) on the main campus on the following dates and times:
- Friday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, April 29, at 2:00 p.m.
- Saturday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m.
"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) is a fast-paced comedy in which three actors attempt to perform all of Shakespeare's 37 plays and 154 sonnets in just 95 minutes – with hilariously disastrous results!” said HFC Director of Theatre Dr. John Michael Sefel.
This year was Sefel’s first year at HFC. Complete Works was the fourth play he produced and the third play he directed at the College.
Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield – all founding members of the Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC) – Complete Works debuted in the early 1980s. It made its Scotland debut in 1987. It ran for nine years in London. Sefel rated it the “lightest PG-13.”
The plot has three actors badly performing Shakespeare’s plays, which are either comically shortened or combined. They break the "fourth wall" and speak directly to the audience during the majority of the play. Some scenes even involve audience participation.
It is also common for the actor to make pop culture references or to talk about local people and places in the area where the play is being performed, which explains Godzilla’s presence to a degree (Sefel didn’t want to say too much more about moviedom’s King of the Monsters without spoiling the surprise). As a result, performances differ – even with the same cast. Sefel is holding true to that tradition.
Never the same cast twice
“We've cast six actors in the three roles, randomly swapping them at various performances. The show is never the same cast twice!” said Sefel. "It really has been a rough couple of years on everyone – I'm so happy to be doing a light-hearted comedy that invites the audience to just come in, sit back, and have a great time."
The actors include:
- Caitlin Castle, of Brownstown
- Sarah Sullivan, of Taylor
- Loay El-Hennaoui, of Dearborn Heights
- Marceles Simmons, of Redford
- Drake McWilliams, of River Rouge
- Ali Seblini, of Dearborn Heights
"I love that this show really is for everyone! I've toured this play in the past with audiences ranging from trained Shakespearean actors to middle school students dragged there on field trips – all crowds have just loved it!” said Sefel. “There are enough Shakespearean jokes to make English majors laugh, but the majority is the sort of slapstick silliness that crowds tend to love, no matter their background."
Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for senior citizens, active military, students with a valid student ID, and HFC employees. Purchase tickets today.
For questions or more information, contact Sefel at firstname.lastname@example.org.