Starlight theatre shakes up Shakespeare


Preston Rolls

Gloucester glares at his subjects: Senior Ben Harmon, acting as Gloucester, sits in his throne after he has become king. Harmon sets the scene of his rise to power and newfound authority with an angry glance at his fellow castmates who are approaching him. Harmon continually radiates an aggressive attitude to get into character.

Deafening sounds, artfully crafted costumes, and startling passion all come together to create a theatrical masterpiece that encompasses dozens of people.

The Bowie Starlight Theatre Company took on Shakespeare’s Richard III in their fall shows this year. They are also incorporating Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth into their fall shows.

With Theatre teacher Matthew Humphrey directing and junior Gillian Griffis as assistant director, while also playing the role of Queen Elizabeth, the Bowie theatre held a performance to be remembered. Their spin on the classic Shakespeare play left the whole audience silent.

Richard III is thought to have been written around 1592, depicting the Machiavellian rise to power and short reign of English Richard III. The play would normally be long, so long that it is deemed the second longest play after Hamlet, but the Starlight theatre company removed certain characters from the script to shorten their show.

Senior Ben Harmon and junior Eric Larson alternated performances playing Gloucester, otherwise known as Richard III. The performance that I went to, Eric Larson had the role of Gloucester. He took on the role fully, interpreting the character into his body language and movements, as well as voice and powerful attitude.

I personally was a little frightened by Larson’s movements and dialogue and I think that he did a great job becoming such an important character in this story.

Gloucester is determined to gain the throne from his brother, Edward IV, and the play follows his quest to power.

Another character who I feel obligated to mention is Queen Elizabeth. Played by Gillian Griffis, she played a vital role in the story, as her husband Edward IV is killed and his throne overthrown. Griffis put a lot of emotion into her performance and had a very memorable stage presence.

The 2018 Fall Shows have only improved in the past few years. Even in the technical aspects such as lighting and props, the Starlight Theatre Company did a phenomenal job. The actors made sure to project their voices and enunciate their words well. This was vital to the whole performance, as the play was written in Shakespearean English and this helped the audience follow the plot.

I was very confused the entire time because I had no idea what they were saying or who the different characters were, but the actors made up for the confusing dialogue with their acting. Their actions and passion they put into their performance guided the audience into understanding the plot, and helped bring the whole story together.

Overall,  I would rate it four out of five stars. I think that the cast, production crew and directors all did an amazing job. They put a cool twist on a classic story, and executed it flawlessly.