The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Shackouls Honors College presents Shakespeare week

The fourth floor of Griffis Hall was commandeered Wednesday and Thursday to make room for the Shackouls Honors College’s Shakespearean play “The Many Faces of Love & Desire” as part of the 2015 Shakespeare Week. 

The play was the brainchild of English assistant professor Eric Vivier and directed by Donna Clevinger of the Honors College. A variety of Shakespeare’s sonnets and works were incorporated into the hour-long performance, with most of the inspiration coming from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” 

The play featured little-to-no adaptations from the original works, creating a challenge for cast members when learning and reciting their lines. However, Clevinger explained this did little to stop the cast, as they executed their lines with minimum errors. 

“These are not theater students,” she said. “These are students who wanted to do something different.”

This was only accomplished through weeks of rehearsal and sacrifice of the students’ time to make their performance go as smoothly as possible. 

Zane Parker III, sophomore international business major casted as Malvolio, said it was refreshing to finally do a Shakespearean play for the first time with the Honors College.

“I am pretty confident that the play will earn us a good turn out because of its uniqueness, being that it is multiple parts of Shakespearean works, rather than just one,” Zane said. 

The play itself opened with an accompaniment of a violin solo by junior political science major Tony Laudadio. As the music filled the room, the audience’s mood was set before the play was even started, allowing them to get a feel of what was to come.

The play progressed from there as the actors entered and began to speak their lines loudly and clearly. Shakespearean language was not the only thing that helped to set the atmosphere of the performance. The cast was in full-costume from a rental company. 

These costumes were of high quality and displayed just how much effort was put into this production. A major difference in the performance put on by the Honors College from a traditional play was the lack of a true stage.

“The Many Faces of Love & Desire” was held in a classroom setting, which would normally have led the audience to lack imagery, but did just the opposite. The lack of a stage and background allowed for the audience to create their own setting with their imaginations. 

Another interesting factor was the arena-like performance space that provided each audience member with a different perspective of the play. The cast also got up close and personal with some of the audience, creating a more realistic scenario. 

Christine Dunn, sophomore secondary English education major, said the actors who played the brother-sister duo, Viola, performed by Amber Bennett, and Sebastian, who was played by Chase Waldrip, projected a strong physical presence in their performance. 

“It was an interesting performance with all of the mixed Sonnets. The transition between them was well-executed and blended to the point that you didn’t know when they were using a completely different piece of work,” Christine said. 

The only flaw of the play was the difficulty some may have with understanding Shakespearean language, but if one listens closely enough, they will be able to piece together what is happening. Overall, the play was enjoyable and provided a clear display of the effort put in by the student cast.

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Shackouls Honors College presents Shakespeare week