Teen Conservatory—Shakespeare's Disguises

(Last Update: 20:42 PDT 10 May 2023 )

The West End Studio Theatre had a 2-week Teen Conservatory ending with a showcase which the director decided to call Shakespeare's Disguises, though that name was not used officially. The first week of the Conservatory was a smorgasbord of acting methods classes, dramaturgy, seeing professional performances by Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and behind-the-scenes tours of Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

The second week was intensive work on scenes, individual performances of sonnets, and two ensemble pieces to open and close the show. The work was directed by John Pasha, a professional actor who has appeared in Shakespeare Santa Cruz in previous seasons, though he was not performing for them this year.

The conservatory culminated in the showcase photographed here. Because the lighting was bright and uniform, I got some of the best pictures I've managed so far of a performace at WEST. I also think that the performance was the most professional I've seen at WEST.

The pictures below have links to larger images.

John Pasha, the director, introducing the show.

To begin the first ensemble piece, Abe stops the choreographed warmup.

Abe has the first line of the ensemble piece, Speak the speech, I pray you.

The cast comforts Melissa, who cried out on the town crier line. The cast did know what a town crier really is, but couldn't avoid making a joke about it.

Suit the action to the word, spoken by Milli.

The cast showing how to hold the mirror up nature.

To show Virtue her own feature with Milli as Virtue.

And let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them. Emma is the puppeteer for marionette/clown Makenna. There were three other pairs on other parts of the stage.

Abe stops the clowning with Some necessary question of the play be then to be considered, which Lily continues with that's villanous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.

Annika as Kate restrains Lily as Bianca in Act II Scene 1 of The Taming of the Shrew.

Timmy as Baptista guards Bianca.

Annika as Kate leaves angrily.

As circumstances for several sonnets, bored students sit in a classroom. The sonnets represent the private thoughts of the students.

Timmy as teacher uses a bullhorn to for the wah-wah teacher noises of the Charlie Brown specials.

Makenna reading Sonnet 23 from a note passed in class: As an unperfect actor on the stage, …

Milli presents Sonnet 116, Let me not to the marriage of true minds …

Asta presents Sonnet 27, Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed …

Annika (in back) asks Delphine the question of Sonnet 65 Since brass nor stone nor earth nor boundless sea/ but sad mortality o'er-sways their power/ how with this rage shall beauty hold a plea/ whose action is no stronger than a flower? Also in the shot are Cassandra and Asta.

Annika finishes Sonnet 65 to the audience.

Maggie as Edmund in a condensed version King Lear Act 1, Scene 2. Thou, Nature, art my goddess.

Maggie as Edmund throws down the chair in a fit of rage on the line Why brand they us with base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?

Maggie as Edmund and Emma as Edgar, somewhere near the line Parted you in good terms? Found you no displeasure in him by word or countenance?

Bettina excluded from the crowd for Sonnet 29, When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes, which Abe knows well since he performed it in last year's conservatory.

A closeup of Bettina performing Sonnet 29.

Melissa performing Sonnet 97, How like a winter hath my absence been from thee

Timmy as Orlando and Cassandra as Rosalind (disguised as Ganymede) in As You Like it, Act V, Scene 2.They shall be married tomorrow, and I will bid the duke to the nuptial.

Abe as Silvius, Mary as Phoebe, and Cassandra as Rosalind/Ganymede. And I for no woman

Who do you speak to, Why blame you me to love you?

Tomorrow meet me all together.

Margo seated on the lap of an audience member (Milli's Dad?) for Sonnet 141, In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes

Cassandra speaking to Margo Sonnet 138, When my love swears that she is made of truth/I do believe her …

Emma on the psychiatrist's couch for Sonnet 147, My love is as a fever longing still

Emma with psychiatrist Annika.

Maggie doing Sonnet 106 in the library, When in the chronicle of wasted time

Closeup of Maggie in Sonnet 106.

Asta as Margaret, Lily as Hero, and Makenna as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Act 3, Scene 4.

How long have you professed apprehension?
Ever since you left it

Benedictus? Why Bendictus?

Yet Benedict was such another

Bettina as Hamlet and Melissa as Ophelia in Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1. No, not I. I never gave you aught.

Melissa as Ophelia and Bettina as Hamlet.

Melissa as Ophelia and Bettina as Hamlet.

Delphine, with her back to the audience, giving a funeral oration of Sonnet 18 Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Close up of Cassandra as the corpse for Sonnet 18.

Abe enters as Malvolio, in yellow stockings and cross-gartered (Twelfth Night Act 3, Scene 4). Sweet lady, ho, ho.

This does make some obstruction in the blood, this cross-gartering. Delphine plays Olivia.

It did come to his hands and commands shall be executed. (Malvolio refers to the forged letter that he thought was from Olivia.) Mary in the background as Maria.

Malvolio kisses his hand.

Go to, thou art made

Mary talking to Lily So are you to my thoughts as food to life (Sonnet 75).

Mary is still holding the inflatable hammer used to knock out Malvolio in the previous scene, though it has no connection to Sonnet 75.

Lily on the left: Oh never say that I was false of heart (Sonnet 109).

More of Sonnet 109.

Abe reads Time Magazine: When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced

When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed

When I have seen the hungry ocean gain advantage on the kingdom of the shore

When I have seen such interchange of state

Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate

That Time will come and take my love away

This thought is as a death, which cannot choose

But weep to have that which it fears to lose.

Macbeth Act 4, Scene 3, with Milli as Malcom and Margo as MacDuff.

I have lost my hopes

Yet my poor country shall more vices than it had before

Macduff, this noble passion, child of integrity, hath from my soul wiped the black scruples,

For the closing piece, the cast did Puck's closing monologue from Midsummer Night's Dream: If we shadows have offended/ Think but this and all is mended

No more yielding but a dream

If we have unearned luck

And Robin shall restore amends.

Disclaimer: the names of the actors were taken from the program, and spelling (as always on WEST programs) may be creative.

sketch of Kevin Karplus by Abe
Kevin Karplus's home page
Abe as Alfonso Churchill
Abe's theater page

Questions about page content should be directed to Kevin Karplus
Biomolecular Engineering
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
318 Physical Sciences Building

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