A very different theatrical event is in the works for this year’s 7th- and 8th-grade play. At 7:30 pm on Saturday, December 7, and 2 pm on Sunday, December 8, the Theatre, Speech & Dance Department will present a one-evening Shakespeare festival of sorts.
The entertainment will begin with poetry readings and a live instrumental performance by Dalton Harrold '25, which will quickly shift into a seriocomic Shakespearean highlight reel spanning four of his most famous plays. Taking a cue from The Reduced Shakespeare Company, Nora Woodruff '24, Summer Levin '24 and Samanyu Koduri '24 will lead a performance of scenes and soliloquies from the Burroughs curriculum. Beginning with grade twelve’s Hamlet and working down the years through Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar, this pre-show will set the stage for the performance of the play every JBS seventh grader reads, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The one-act production of Midsummer boasts a cast of 23 students, including Michael Sadasivam '24, Arden Sigmund '24, Arya Bhattacharya '24 and Lucia del Pilar '24 as the two young couples in love, and Isaiah Knispel '24 and Ayomide Ajakaiye '25 as King Theseus and Queen Hippolyta. Hoping to perform before the king and queen are the rag-tag band of amateur actors – Molly Magarian '25, Quincy Loegering '25, Kaitlyn Foster '24, Luna Aramburu '24, Ava Holman '25 – led by Sophia Byrne '24 as Bottom. The magical side of things will feature Xander Theodos '24 as Oberon and Ella Merritt '24 as Titania. And overseeing it all is Owen Front '25 as Puck.
John Pierson (English, Theatre) directs, with help from 9th-grade assistant directors Jane Leavitt and Lily Yanagimoto. Sophie Sinton '20 is the production stage manager, and Meera Wolfgram '25 is the assistant stage manager. The costume design is by resident guest artist Carla Landis Evans. Set design is by guest artist Erin Knadler. Lighting design and oversight of all technical aspects of the production are by Joe Novak.
Tickets are $10, and will go on sale in the JBS bookstore on Monday, November 25. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime for both performances, and all seats are general admission.