A Complete Twist: RHS Drama Guild Will Embark on Its First Full-length Production with Its Version of ‘the Taming of the Shrew’

December 2, 2011
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RHS Student Mladen Pepic will play the role of Baptista in the newly formed RHS Drama Guild's production of 'The Taming of the Shrew' next week. RHS Teacher and Drama Guild sponsor.

The newly formed Revere High School (RHS) Drama Guild is preparing to take a big bite out of Shakespeare next week as they perform their twist on ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ in two performances.

The cast of about 12 students in the one-year old Drama Guild – which is financially supported by RevereCARES under the Youth Empowerment Success program – has been regularly rehearsing for the past month under the direction of

George Hannah instructs students, including Christa Celestine and Mladen Pepic, during a recent rehearsal of 'The Taming of the Shrew.' Hannah said he and co-sponsor Sara Rice are some┬Čtimes more like athletic coaches in the way they coordinate the productions, but the resurrected Guild is gaining momentum at the high school.

teachers George Hannah and Sara Rice.

“This is not going to be the traditional everyone lives happily ever after and everyone gets married type of ending,” said Hannah, a professionally trained actor who has a degree from Columbia University and Long Island University. “It’s an ending that leaves people thinking and is a little edgy…We’re trying to get people to think and look at the world around them. When students come to the Guild to participate, we always want to know what they think of the material. That’s important…If we get the ending down, it will make a lot more sense. The main thing is we want the audience to leave thinking and questioning the world around them and also having been entertained in the process.”

Rice said that the students are not the typical drama students and the Guild has really reached out to find new voices and hidden talent, and they have excelled.

“Shakespeare is definitely amazing, but also a process,” she said. “It’s also really wonderful that on day one, the students couldn’t pronounce half of the words and now they’re coming right out of their mouths like it’s nothing…They really came a long way in that regard.”

Hannah agreed that they are trying to find non-traditional voices in the re-established Drama Guild.

“I think part of what we’re trying to do is find more non-traditional voices to participate – students who are from non-traditional backgrounds and aren’t just the straight ‘A’ students,” he said. “I know a lot of kids who were interested were intimidated by Shakespeare and were probably scared off from this production. As a result, though, we were able to find other voices, younger kids and sophomores who may not have been involved otherwise.”

The Drama Guild began in the fall of 2010 as a re-established club, brought back after a long-dormant period where there was no drama activities for students. With the help of RevereCARES and the commitment of Hannah, a dedicated group formed last year.

Throughout the course of last school year, the Guild worked on writing its own series of one-act plays. The plays were all student-written and the ideas were all student-generated. They dealt with controversial subjects like bullying and dating violence.

In the spring, Guild members performed their pieces to a live audience and by all accounts it went very well.

This year, they decided to take on Shakespeare.

That too, seems to be going well, and the production will play on Dec. 8th and 9th at 6 p.m. in the RHS Auditorium.

Hannah said that later this year, they will also perform more student-written plays. Once again, those productions will deal with edgy subjects such as cyber-bullying.

“We’ll even be taking a look into what the home life is like for a bully,” he said. “We’d like to see what that looks like.”

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