CRHS brings fast-paced Shakespearean comedy to stage

Ask director Karla Haij about Coon Rapids High School’s latest fall theater production and she answers in one word.

Coon Rapids High School will present Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” for its fall play. Among actors in the cast are: (back row, left to right) Nathan Bambenek (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Isaac Quick (Sir Toby Belch) and Ethan Thomason (Antonio). Middle row: Andrew Lloyd (Priest), Tanner Liubakka (Orsino) and Courtney VonVett (Maria). Front: Kayli McIntyre (Olivia) and Charlotte Kuntz (Viola).  Photo by Elyse Kaner

Coon Rapids High School will present Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” for its fall play. Among actors in the cast are: (back row, left to right) Nathan Bambenek (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Isaac Quick (Sir Toby Belch) and Ethan Thomason (Antonio). Middle row: Andrew Lloyd (Priest), Tanner Liubakka (Orsino) and Courtney VonVett (Maria). Front: Kayli McIntyre (Olivia) and Charlotte Kuntz (Viola). Photo by Elyse Kaner

“Hilarious!”

This year’s fall production finds a cast of 24 CRHS students in Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night.”

Two twins are separated at birth. Each thinks the other has died. Add a ship wreck and mistaken identifies to the plot and laughter ensues.

“Many people say it’s his finest and funniest,” Haij said.

Last spring Haij’s drama students (juniors at the time) asked if they could perform a play by the renowned bard.

Haij readily agreed. In this production, she’s changed the order of some scenes for better understanding of character relationships. She has also reworked the opening.

“In a sense it is what happens before the play begins that the audience needs to know,” she said.

To prepare for the show, she held a “Language of Shakespeare Workshop” two days before auditions.

For better communication to the audience, students in rehearsal continue to workshop the Shakespearean oration.

Jan Redmann has dreamed up creative costumes paying special attention to Renaissance period detail.

“I think people are just going to love its fun and silliness,” Haij said about the play.

Coon Rapids High School presents William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” Nov. 8, 9, 10 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. Matinee Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. Adults $8, seniors and students $5. CRHS is at 2340 Northdale Blvd. N.W. For more information, visit www.anoka.k12.mn.us/crhstheatre or call 763-506-7302.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com


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