Auditions prepare students for Shakespeare, real world

Caitlyn Aakre, Staff Writer

A new director has come to town and he’s not going to be pushed around.
“If you want a role in the show, how do you plan on taking [it] from me?” C. M. Russell High School drama teacher Chris Evans said. The department’s fall production, “The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged,” held auditions Oct 5 in class and on the main stage to determine who will take the roles from Evans.
The show was originally written to have three male stars, but Evans plans on casting females as well.
“I want to bump it up,” he said about casting girls. He said they have a certain sense of humor boys wouldn’t be able to mimic. In addition, Evans made all of his drama students audition, even if they had no desire to be in the show.
“Iron out how you present yourself,” Evans said. He said he’s preparing his kids for real world jobs and the demands that come with it, including interviews. Open auditions were held on the main stage in the auditorium Oct. 5.
His advanced theatre class was required to memorize a Shakespearean sonnet, but the others, including those in lower level classes, read sonnets Evans handed them as they went on stage.
“Jump around, be a monkey,” Evans said to the potential cast members as he prepared them to take the stage. Marquis Achuleta was asked to run across the stage several times and then recite his sonnet.
“[The audition] was very intense,” Archuleta said. Although being onstage is momentary, Archuleta says the process is much longer.
“The audition starts the day you walk in the door,” he said.

The drama production’s “Shakespeare: Abridged” will be held in Bill Will Hall auditiorium on Nov. 11, 12, and 13.