Rangeview theater bids audience “much ado”

Feature Photo By: Connor Rodenbeck – Seniors Kuleni Abdo, Danyion Reagan, and Jared Wolfe and junior Jordan Clanton perform in Rangeview’s most recent play. This is the first Shakespearean production that RHS has done in a long time. 

By: Connor Rodenbeck, Review Staff

To the average person, it might be hard to follow Shakespearean plays. Indeed, it was difficult to decipher the plot through the dense, old-fashioned language that the characters used. Yet, everything came together at the end and I was left thrilled.

Rangeview’s last play of the year, Much Ado About Nothing, tells the simultaneously humorous and dramatic tale of two interesting love stories and the shenanigans that come with them. This Shakespearean play is unique because it hasn’t been done by Rangeview in a very long time.

“This show was special because it’s the first time we’ve done Shakespeare in the last four years,” senior and actor Lizzie Stacks says. “Each actor really took the part and worked the lines to understand it. It’s not common to see that in high school theater.”

Indeed, the actors performed amazingly. If they hadn’t, the audience would have no inkling as to what was going on. From the intense verbal sparring to the subtle facial expressions, the actors gave nuanced performances that kept the audience captivated and knowledgeable about the story.

For me, the standout performances came from the four leads: Seniors Lizzie Stacks, Danyion Reagan, Kuleni Abdo, junior Jakob Lutz.

Stacks and Lutz primarily acted together as two people in denial of their love for each other. They each gave biting dialogue as they performed together. In the end, they acknowledged their love with a little help from supporting characters. 

 

Juniors Jakob Lutz and Lisitte Mora interact on stage. Their costumes are distinct to the time period that the play is set. (Connor Rodenbeck)

Reagan and Abdo played two characters head over heels for each other, but they are eventually pitted against each other. The drama really shone with Abdo’s character’s fake death, which allowed Reagan’s character to demonstrate his true feelings of love for her on her deathbed.

 

Perhaps the true star of the show was behind the scenes. Mrs. Anderson — English teacher and director — took the helm of this production.

“Mrs. Anderson constantly encourages us to do our own thing, make our own acting choices, and to have fun no matter what we’re doing,” senior Maddie Heiken says about the director. “She’s a spectacular addition to the RHS theater department and I look forward to seeing what she produces for years to come.”

Without Anderson’s help, this play would have, no doubt, been difficult to understand as an audience member. The humor was subtle, the drama was well-developed. In its entirety, the play was a major success in terms of execution.

“I loved the play and the cast did an amazing job with the delivery of their lines,” junior Mia Lamontagne stated. “They managed to make a Shakespearean play engaging yet stayed true to the complexity of each character.”

This play was unlike any that I’ve ever seen and I was impressed by how well it turned out. This type of production is harder than other contemporary musicals and dramas.

Yes, it was Shakespeare, and yes, the humor was difficult to understand at times. But, the fact that high school students could bring a production like this to life left me awestruck. Everyone involved in this play should be proud.

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