On Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8, the Theatre, Speech & Dance Department presented a Shakespeare festival ... of sorts!
The entertainment began with poetry readings and a live instrumental performance by Dalton Harrold '25, which quickly shifted into a seriocomic Shakespearean highlight reel spanning four of his most famous plays. Taking a cue from The Reduced Shakespeare Company, Nora Woodruff '24, Summer Levin '24 and Samanyu Koduri '24 led a performance of scenes and soliloquies from the Burroughs curriculum. Beginning with grade twelve’s Hamlet and working down the years through Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar, this pre-show set the stage for the performance of the play every JBS seventh-grader reads, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The one-act production of Midsummer had a cast of 23 students, including Michael Sadasivam '24, Arden Sigmund '24, Arya Bhattacharya '24 and Lucia del Pilar '24 as the two young couples in love, and Isaiah Knispel '24 and Ayomide Ajakaiye '25 as King Theseus and Queen Hippolyta. Hoping to perform before the king and queen were the rag-tag band of amateur actors – Molly Magarian '25, Quincy Loegering '25, Kaitlyn Foster '24, Luna Aramburu '24, Ava Holman '25 – led by Sophia Byrne '24 as Bottom. The magical side of things featured Xander Theodos '24 as Oberon and Ella Merritt '24 as Titania. And overseeing it all was Owen Front '25 as Puck.
John Pierson (English, Theatre) directed, with help from 9th-grade assistant directors Jane Leavitt and Lily Yanagimoto. Sophie Sinton '20 was the production stage manager, and Meera Wolfgram '25 was the assistant stage manager. The costume design was by resident guest artist Carla Landis Evans. Set design was by guest artist Erin Knadler. Lighting design and oversight of all technical aspects of the production were by Joe Novak.