Production Celebrates all things Shakespeare

Avondale Theatre Company closes Main Stage Season with Madcap Comic Romp

The Avondale Theatre Company, Avondale High School’s award-winning drama troupe, wraps up the main stage portion of their 2015-16 season with the vaudevillian-style, wild comic romp The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) for a three-night run, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 21, 22 and 23 at the Avondale Performing Arts Centre at 7:35 pm.

An endless cascade of cross-dressing actors, audience-interactive improvisational moments, dancing, singing, and twisted interpretations of the works of William Shakespeare, the show highlights the comic chops of the Avondale Theatre Company (ATC).

“This show is pure insanity – the definition of controlled chaos – twenty cast members exploding from all corners of the stage trying desperately to hold total mayhem together; celebrating all things Shakespeare while poking fun at it at the same time,” explains Edmond Guay, Avondale High School theatre teacher and director of the ATC wrapping up his 29th year with the school and company. “The cast was selected based on what each could bring to the table whether it is a great voice, terrific ability to move, tumble, tell great stories, play musical instruments, or create bizarre characters. This play will be both a tribute to Shakespeare and parody of his words … while being very much an Avondale show.”

The entire cast of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

The entire cast of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

The ensemble cast include ATC veterans and new comers, all of whom get to spotlight their unique talents. They are seniors Robin Coker, Sarah Monahan, Conor Lovell, Alex Haddad and Brent Fultz; juniors Antonio Vettraino, Jarrett Buikema and Meghan Gwilt; sophomores Rachel Jones, Brendan Hart, Chloe Stark, Annie Youngs, Christopher Larson, Mitchell Payne, Tess Chargo and Nick Christy; and freshmen Sonia Pinjarkar, Bella Javier, Amarae’ Robinson and Zoe Williams. The cast is overseen by student director senior Ian Krueger.

Not to be outdone by their onstage counterparts, the backstage crew, numbering over 60, gets the enviable task of creating the core visual and technical elements that serve as the backdrop for the show including a “replica” of the Globe Theatre, a unique sound scape, and over 120 costume changes. Leading the backstage charge are Stage Manager senior Cheyenne Westover, Assistant Stage Manager junior Josh Miller, Student Producer junior Lila Letica and her assistant sophomore Jamie Hager with seniors Caitlin Blomberg (lights) and Ashley Andrews (costumes); juniors Geoffrey Steward (sound) and Nathan Clifton (props); and the sophomore trio of Seven Garrison, Jamie Erickson and Brooklynn Allen (scenic elements) leading the individual crews.

Assisting Guay with the production are a handful of community volunteer mentors who oversee the process and guide the student company: Chris Brody (cast and staging), Matt Bramble (scene shop), Julie Semones (publicity and promotion), Samantha Monahan (costumes and business) and Betina DuBois (staging and production).

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) hits the stage at the Avondale Performing Arts Centre in Avondale High School, located at 2800 Waukegan in Auburn Hills off Squirrel Road between South Boulevard and Auburn Road.

The production runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 21, 22 and 23 at 7:35 pm. With intermission, the play runs just over 90 minutes, making it a short, but high-octane evening of entertainment. Due to the content and presentation style of the show, some of the production may be considered a bit inappropriate for children under the age of 12 – the Bard himself was a bit risque’. Tickets are on sale now. All seating is reserved and admission is only $5. Tickets can be reserved by calling the ATC any time at 248-537-6210.

Complete Works may be wrapping up the main stage portion of the ATC season (which has also seen the company mount a hugely successful staging of Disney’s Tarzan, and the state-recognized award-winning production of Sweet Nothing in My Ear), but the year is not over yet. In May, the Company will begin work on a very special summer project, two imaginative children’s shows – Wiley and the Hairy Man and the musical Captain Louie – which they will mount for performances in July before taking them overseas to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland as part of the American High School Theatre Festival.

The ATC will also be sponsoring its 9th bi-annual Drama Camp for children grades K – 8 June 20-30, as well as performing during literary nights at the Auburn Hills Public Library and SummerFest.

About Rochester Media

Rochester Media publishes The Community Edge digital newsletter of recently posted articles from Rochester Media, a hyper-local news outlet covering all things in and around Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township. Send us you press releases and news happenings to

Speak Your Mind