The Queen’s Court Company “Seussifies” a Shakespearean Classic

By Emily Knepple, Arts & Entertainment Editor

With clever rhymes, hand-made costumes and a playful rendition of Shakespeare’s tragic love story, the Queen’s Court Company has officially started its fourth year. The three-show run of Peter Bloedel’s The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet from November 3-5 showcased two casts and set the tone for the year to come for the arts department.

In her search for finding a fall play, Director Ellen Phillips discovered The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet, an amusing and interactive take on the Shakespearean classic that is studied in freshman English at Trinity Hall.

“I loved the Seussification version better because it made the story much more fun and entertaining to watch,” sophomore Julia LaForgia said. “I feel like the rhyming added more emphasis to the plot itself and overall enhanced the classic story in a great and intriguing way.”

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Junior Jacqueline M. gives a rhyming soliloquy as Juliet. Photo courtesy of Melissa Whelan

After seeing the students’ positive reaction to the play, Humanities teacher Lauren Pappa borrowed the concept for her freshman English classes, giving her students the challenging but fun assignment to “Seussify” and act out parts of the ancient Greek classic The Odyssey.

In the light of the broadway phenomenon, Hamilton, Phillips found similar inspiration in the rapping, rhymes and comedy of the show.
“The play was written in rhyming couplet, which is really rapping; that’s where it was born,” Phillips said.

The limitation of space was also a contributing factor in Phillips’ decision to choose the show. “I had to have something very simple with no sets because I knew I had to be…in the commons room.” Phillips and the students on the set crew had to rearrange the commons area into a theatre space, which provided some unique challenges.

“It was hard for us to maneuver our way backstage and do last minute touches on the costumes,” said assistant costume director Marisa Goolcharan.

“I think that having the play in the commons wasn’t necessarily a ‘true theater space’ but was still very entertaining to watch,” freshman Molly Clifford said. “Being in the commons emphasized the community environment, and it was cool to see all of the students in a place where we all are every day, but was completely transformed into a different atmosphere.”

Double-casting shows has become a tradition at Trinity Hall that Phillips hopes to continue. Because of double-casting, Phillips has been able to give more opportunities to students who might not have been able to get the chance before.

“It’s important to understand caring and to learn from each other,” said Phillips. “Having two people in the same role essentially allowed for both the boys and girls to bounce ideas off of each other.”

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Senior actresses celebrate their last fall show (from L to R: Brianne D., Lilly M., Holly K., Sarah F., Grace M., Abby M. and Chloe T). Photo courtesy of Melissa Whelan

While the company faced some extraordinary challenges with this production, they overcame them all to put on three successful and entertaining shows.

“I loved the play!” junior Haley Cesario said. “It was so funny…the rhyming and humor were my favorites parts and really kept me interested! My favorite role was Mercutio, played by the freshman Kelsey O’Keefe on the night that I saw it, because she did a good job with her character by using humor to make it more fun to watch her.”

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