YORK -- Be transported back in time through the wild and wacky journey of theatre through the years from Aristophanes to Emile Zola. The York College Theatre Department will present The Complete History of Theatre (abridged) to virtual audiences on October 16 and 17.
The comedy, written by Matt Thompson, explores the beginnings of Greek theatre, Aristotle’s Poetics, the fine art of Kabuki, the history of mime, the gladiators of Rome, and speculation on the real author of Shakespeare’s plays. Along the way, the bumbling Shakespeare misquotes himself, Sarah Bernhardt can’t get over the sound of thunderous applause and Stanislavsky gets blown out of a cannon! Through a little perseverance and commedia dell’arte, the famous trifecta attempts to hold the show together, but with the producer’s appearance onstage, things only get worse when the cast finds out they are trapped in a play within a play.
Near the play’s end, the cast realizes that the playwright hasn’t written an ending, wherein the iconic celebrities are forced to seek the audience’s help in finding a creative conclusion to the show. Just when it appears that all the drama is behind them, the reviews come in, and what the critics say surprises them. This interactive farce will keep you in stitches at every turn.
“I have enjoyed seeing how far the actors have come in such a short time,” said Grace Gaer, assistant director, and sophomore psychology major. “I have learned so much about being intentional, trusting the process, and staying calm. Despite COVID-19, we created something memorable together for others to watch and enjoy!”
“I love the rapid-fire comedy,” said Charity Goldsmith-Ding, cast member and junior criminal justice major. “Some might even find this comedy educational but for sure fun.”
“I really like how fast-paced the show is. It really helps keep the audience engaged,” said Chris Martens, cast member, and junior business communication and theatre major. “You will want to see this show because it is funny, sporadic, and there is plenty of shock factor.”
“We are lucky to be able to do theatre during a pandemic,” mentioned John I. Baker III, director and associate professor of communication. “We poke fun at the art that we are doing, and have a lot of fun doing so. We have parts from over 40 shows (the famous parts), sing a song or two, shoot someone out of a cannon, and poke a lot of fun at William Shakespeare.”
The cast includes Christopher Martens, Ian Wallgren, Charity Goldsmith-Ding, Victoria Miller, Eli Embray, Nathan Lacina, Julie Tremaine, Elias Dallmann, Ella Montoya, Bryce Smith, Dalton Brandt, Luke Dovel, and Samantha Crump.
To access the link for the live-streamed shows register at www.york.edu/boxoffice .
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