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Sandy Actors Theatre shortens Shakespeare with dose of humor


'Compleat Works' production opening Friday, Jan. 29

If you’re not familiar with his works, seeing a play written by William Shakespeare can be daunting. But Sandy Actors Theatre is ready to use slapstick humor to explain all of Shakespeare’s plays in a single evening.

“This is not a Shakespeare play,” said Director Anita Sorel. “It’s a satirical take on all of Shakespeare’s work.”CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Jim Lamproe, Molly Reel and Tabitha Souders are part of the  cast that will perform The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr: Abridged, which opens on Jan. 29.

On Friday, Jan. 29, Sandy Actors Theatre will debut its newest production, “The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr: Abridged” by Jess Borgeson, Adam Long and Daniel Singer.

Directed by Sorel, the production’s cast includes Jennifer Souders, Jim Lamproe, Brick Andrews, Tabitha Souders, George Farquhar, Molly Reel, Sam Helzer and Anthony Ulibarri.

Sorel, who has appeared in several SAT plays, also directed “The Importance of Being Earnest” for Sandy Actors Theatre and has directed numerous plays outside Sandy.

“It’s a whole new bag,” Sorel said of her newest project with a laugh.

She explained her favorite part of preparing “The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr” has been working with the company.

“The actors are marvelous. They are amazing people,” she added. “When you’re working on a drama, many times the actors stay more private — as they’re working on their own characters. Here, they have to bond, so it’s been a joy seeing them work as a team.”CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - George Farquhar plays Romeo as Jim Lamproe portrays Juliet in Sandy Actors Theatres newest comedy.

“The Compleat Works” is not your average comedy.

During performances, actors will whisk audiences through Shakespeare favorites such as “Romeo and Juliet,” “Titus Andronicus,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” “Macbeth,” “Julius Caesar” and “Hamlet” as well as all of his comedies — all 37 plays in 87 minutes.

But this is no English class rendition of the British bard’s work — these performances are meant to make audiences laugh.

In act one, the cast will showcase the history of England’s kings as a football game, give a rundown of “Titus Andronicus” as a cooking show and recite “Macbeth” in their best Scottish accents.

Although Sorel said her favorite Shakespeare role to act in was Kate in “Taming of the Shrew,” her favorite play to see is “Hamlet,” a play which “The Compleat Works” will devote nearly half the play to explain.

“Act Two is the funniest, most energetic and comic production of ‘Hamlet’ you are ever likely to see,” reads a press release from Sandy Actors Theatre.

Sorel said the most challenging part of directing the play has been to get actors to loosen up and be open to all the dancing and silliness the play requires.

“What I’ve worked really hard on is getting actors to speak the Shakespeare dialogue really well ... and then add all the slapstick on top of it,” she said. “And they’re wonderful.”

Souders, who acted in the SAT production of “Sweet Surrender” last summer, is one of the actors who will be submerging audiences in a hilarious evening of Shakespeare.

“It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever been in, and it’s not what you expect when you hear William Shakespeare,” Souders said.

She added that she is most excited to play Polonius in the play’s condensed version of Hamlet — as she has not yet had the opportunity in her career to portray an old man.

“I think it’s my favorite part to play actually,” she said with a laugh.

Before you pick your seat, be aware that there is some audience participation. If you don’t want to help, don’t sit in the front row.

“(Audiences) should expect to laugh, to leave perhaps understanding more about Shakespeare in a way,” Sorel said. “And they should be prepared to perhaps be pulled up onto the stage.”

Experience the shortened hilarity

What: Sandy Actors Theatre’s “The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr: Abridged”

When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 29-Feb. 21

Tickets: $15 general admission, $12 for students and seniors age 60 and older, $10 for children age 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased online at sandyactorstheatre.org.

Also: Limited pre-show t-shirts are available. Shirts can be purchased online, and picked up the night of the performance to be worn during the show. Purchase yours online at sandyactorstheatre.org/osconcert/index.php?cPath=103.

The Bard at the library

The cast of Sandy Actors Theatre’s “The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr: Abridged” will present scenes from the troupe’s newest performance at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Sandy Public Library, 38980 Proctor Blvd.

The performance promises 30 minutes of laughter for a riotous, rollicking good time that will leave you with a new appreciation for the Bard of Avon.

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