June 24, 2017

‘The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It’: a play within a play

“The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It” premieres April 27-May 6 at the Studio Theatre at 6:30 p.m. (Photo by Ricardo Coronado)

A crying clown, a surprising ukulele debut, wrestling matches, rapid costumes changes and a catastrophe of spiraling events premiere tonight in the first-ever senior theater showcase, “The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It.”

The production, written by playwright Don Nigro and directed by professor of acting and voice Michelle Felten, revolves around a group of actors who have to perform all 33 roles of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”

In the play, the characters are miscast and lack commitment but eventually tap into the beauty and the integrity of Shakespeare’s world.

Rajiv Laffey, a senior theater major, plays the Clown and five other characters. He said that playing multiple characters can be challenging but his experience has been rewarding.

“I have to keep the honesty of my core character as well as the other characters I’m playing,” Laffey said. “Once it all comes together and (we work) as a team, it eventually becomes our play.”

The play will be performed in the Studio Theatre, which is a smaller theater than the main stage in Shasta Hall, but senior Simi Singh, who plays the character of Phoebe, said the venue allows for a more personal touch with the audience.

“The space allows more interplay within the actors and a lot more interaction to the audience,” Singh said.

The play is led by the Curate, portrayed by Sac State senior Michelle Pollack, the director of the troupe and deals with the troupe’s antics.

“In Shakespearean language the Curate means to cure, he is determined to make them commit and perform and bring them all together,” Felten said.

Felten has directed the play about three times and hopes for the audience to experience a fun evening theatre performance.

“It’s really silly, fast moving, a little inept, language driven (and) character driven,” Felten said.

“The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It” premieres April 27-May 6 at the Studio Theatre at 6:30 p.m.

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Ricardo Coronado

Ricardo Coronado is a senior studying journalism at Sacramento State. He's currently a staff writer for The State Hornet. Ricardo had previously interned for Univision 19 Sacramento (Summer 2015) and Univision 34 news division based in Los Angeles (Summer 2016). Ricardo just recently completed his news internship with KCRA Sacramento (Fall 2016). In 10 years, he sees himself moving back home to Southern California working as reporter. As a brother of Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity, he lives by its motto, "Men of Mind, Men of Culture, Men of Pride." Ricardo can be reached at Woodley.34@gmail.com

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