Weakley Playhouse Spring 2022

Playhouse Brings Shakespeare to Weakley
Posted on 05/03/2022
This is the image for the news article titled Playhouse Brings Shakespeare to WeakleyWeakley Playhouse is taking on big subjects -- young love, tragedy, and families in crisis – as they bring one of William Shakespeare’s big works to Weakley County audiences. Starting Friday, May 6 and continuing the 7, 12, 13 and 14, family, friends, and patrons of the arts will have the opportunity to see one of the great playwright’s most popular plays on the biggest set the countywide theater group has required to date.

More than 30 cast and crew members have invested countless hours into the production which previewed a scene at Saturday’s Weakley County Schools Arts Festival.
“Putting on Romeo and Juliet presents a number of challenges, especially the complexity of the language,” explained Playhouse director and Westview teacher Martin Kane. “The actors need to ensure they understand their lines, and we all need to do what we can to make the meaning clear to the audience.”

He added that along with the mental testing came physical stresses and strains, “The scale of this production has also required all of us to put in countless hours of work -- dozens of students worked together to build and paint a two-story set and cut and sew almost thirty costumes.”

The countywide drama program for Weakley County Schools grew out of Westview High School's drama club, and since 2019 has been open to high school students from any school in the district. This production is the first of its size and Kane quickly extends thanks to fellow Westview teacher Kyle Rogers and the more than 20 students in ag mechanics class and other members of FFA who ensured that the set – complete with a staircase safely secured for sword fighting – was completed and structurally sound.

Kane also expresses appreciation for the parents of the cast, Westview administration, season sponsors Marvin Downing and Mark Swaim as well as additional donors including Fuller Partners, Luxury Nails, Jordan Plumbing, Color Shop Restoration, First Community Bank, Greenfield Bank, Randy and Terry Frazier, Lynn Gibson, Woodsmen World, Donaldson Brothers Rentals, and The Sideline.
“The Weakley Playhouse has quickly established itself as a provider of quality entertainment for the community but, with this production, has moved beyond celebrating language to offering collaborative opportunities for students who might not have previously considered interacting with the theater,” noted Director of Weakley County Schools Randy Frazier. “I invite all of Weakley County to attend Romeo and Juliet and give our thanks to Martin Kane, his cast and crew, the set builders, and all those who are making this outstanding run possible.”

Tickets are $5 and are available online (https://weakleyplays.ludus.com/index.php) or at the door. Performance dates are May 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14 at 7 p.m. with a special performance for area freshmen on May 10.

cast in costume stand on set that includes staircase and balcony
Weakley Playhouse cast and crew for Romeo and Juliet are ready to bring Shakespeare to Weakley County. Seen here on the stage built in Westview’s Theater by fellow students in Ag Mechanics, are (on floor from left to right) Will Crews, Gloria Hogan, Ava Winstead, Bryson Boyd, Abbey Buchanan, (standing on floor, left to right) Michael Foley, Ellie Blackburn, Gryphon Rowland, Betsy Mantooth, Nathan Reese, Samantha Hurt, Zowie Tipton; (on stairs, sitting, left to right) Kayleigh Hilt, Elizabeth Ostenson, Neela Hernandez, Abby Collie; (on stairs standing, left to right) Jeremiah Britt, Lucy Olerich, Lydia Thorsen, Avery Rogers, Stanley Dean; (on balcony, left to right) Drew Callahan, Katelin Ruteledge, Michael Moon, Zanda Tipton, Atlantis Taylor, Emily Kelley, Tori Ary, Matthew Moon. Not pictured: Sam Butero, Taylor Longacre.