Arts & Culture Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange

CHS Parnassian Society Finds Its Muse With ‘Shakespeare in Love’ November 15-18

From the Parnassian Society: 

Columbia High School’s drama club, The Parnassian Society, is honored to be participating in the Disney Theatrical Productions pilot program to produce Shakespeare in Love based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard on Nov. 15-Nov. 18 in the CHS Black Box Theatre.

The romantic comedy closely follows the 1998 Oscar-winning film, with romance, mistaken identifies, ruthless scheming and backstage theatrics all part of the fun as adapted for the stage by playwright Lee Hall with music by Paddy Cunneen.

Originally performed in London’s West End, ‘Shakespeare in Love’ is being brought to high schools across the country through Disney Theatrical Productions, which has selected Columbia’s Parnassian Society to produce this piece with high school actors to help promote the work to other high schools, said Dr. Janet Bustrin, CHS English teacher.

The fictional play combines speculation about how “the Bard” may have found his muse to write Romeo & Juliet with an exploration of the peculiarities of Elizabethan Era theater.

Performances will take place 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 15, 16 & 17; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18.

The CHS production features a large cast, “18 men and nine women. If you’ve seen the backstage area of the Black Box, we will be packing them in to dressing rooms like sardines,” Dr. Bustrin said.

“Which leads me to our favorite lines from the play,” she said. “Allow me to explain about the theater business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. Strangely enough, it all turns out well. How? I don’t know … It’s a mystery.”

This will be the 17th season Parnassian has been produced by Dr. Bustrin and directed by Steve Stubelt. Presented with the opportunity to participate in the pilot program, “Stubelt accepted and here we are!” Bustrin says.

Tickets are $20. To purchase tickets or make reservations, call (973) 713-6866.

The ensemble cast includes: 

Sam Magdanz, Jordan Muhammad, Stephen Lehren, Emma Hankey, Skyler Jones, Max Goldstein, Jasper Kransdorf, Sylvie Schuetz, Aaron Yanda, Golan Mandel, David Goetz, Kene Amobi, Cyrus Shields, Declan Rohrs, Isabella Yagid, Marcus Michaud, Noah Kariotis, Olivia Bongiorno, Lily Hawryluk, Dylan Boyd, Kermit Cohen, Merav Mandel, Nate Kianovsky, Jessica Cannin, Zaria Berry, Anthony Degourville, and Max Sundue.

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