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NRT Presents: ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)’

There’s no doubt that in high school, at least at one point, an English teacher forced you to read some piece of work by William Shakespeare. And if you’re like 90 percent of Americans, there’s also a good chance that the work your teacher forced you to read was taught in a boring way that led you to loathe Shakespeare as a writer.

Fear not, however, for though high school experiences may have left you scarred with tortuous memories of men named Hamlet and “Where art thou Romeo’s,” No Refund Theatre’s hilarious rendition of “The Complete Works of William Shakespear (Abridged)” will help to heal all of those unpleasant memories.

The show strives to do the impossible: run through the entirety of Shakespeare’s cannon in a mere 97 minutes. In case you were unaware, that’s a total of 37 plays, many of which last a whole lot longer than 97 minutes when performed by their lonesome.

The cast tackles the impossible by summarizing the entirety of Shakespeare’s works into rap songs, comedy sketches, and even football plays. The show puts on a hysterical rendition of the playwright’s work in a fashion unlike any other. It may even leave you with a newfound appreciation for Shakespeare himself.

Junior film major Julie Whelan directs the show. This is her second time directing a play for NRT, the first being “Waiting for Godot” — a show she put on last semester with Sarah Chairnoff.

“This show was very different from ‘Waiting for Godot,’ that’s an existentialist mess and this is a comedic mess,”  Whelan said. “They were both high energy shows though so in that sense I went at it the same. But with this rendition of Shakespeare, the emotion is less powerful than with ‘[Waiting for] Godot’s.” This is all about just having fun and making sure the audience has as much fun as the cast.”

Whelan had no complaints when it came to the cast or directing the show, however. For her, the cast was a dream come true.

“It was amazing getting to work with them. They all have such chemistry and we all have so much fun together,” she said. “They didn’t even have any trouble reciting the Shakespeare, which is usually a struggle for people.”

The show will be presented Thursday through Saturday (as always) in 111 Forum at 8 p.m. If you want to learn more, check out its Facebook page for more information.

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a junior from the ever popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Assistant Social Media editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]

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