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shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com October 25, 2016• Page 11 YHS Tackles Shakespeare BY Shauna Marlette shauna.marlette@yankton.net For the first time in his directing career, Keith Goeden has chosen to tackle Shakespeare for the fall play at Yankton High School. Opening today (Friday) at the Yankton High School Theatre, the featured play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a comedy written by William Shakespeare between 1590 and 1597 is a wild fantasy about misguided love. It opens tonight (Friday) at the YHS Theatre. The play portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta. It includes the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors (the mechanicals) who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. “I was watching a play this summer, pondering what play we were going to do this fall,” he said. “I kind of had something set up and — this is not abnormal — I decided to go a different way.” Goeden noted that the queue of shows he wanted to do had been expended, which opened his mind to finally approaching Shakespeare. “This one has been setting in the back of my mind for a very long time,” he said. “I am familiar with the show and have seen it done many different ways. We went with a more modern version. I think in my director’s notes, I said instead of us trying to visit his time, let’s bring him to ours. I think it has been pretty successful. That will be up to the audience.” While the tradition of excellence of the YHS Theatre Department speaks for itself, the 15th century playwright offers interesting challenges. “You need a lot of people to do him. He has very big casts,” Goeden said. “I think I was a bit intimidated, and for me, that is weird. Most shows, I am probably blissfully ignorant and just leap into them. I just didn’t want to screw it up. After tackling this one, I have had a lot of fun and I think the kids have, too. When you have a great playwright, it gives you so much more to work with rather than some scripts where it is what it is. This one can be interpreted a lot of different ways. It has been great fun working on it and a great experience for both me and the kids.” From the beginning, this play presented a different feel for the students. “I had a more unusual audition process this time,” Goeden said. “We just sat in a circle and took turns reading the play. I tried to give every kid as much of an opportunity to read as many characters as possible. From there, I just said, ‘OK, I think you are best for this part.’ And on down the line.” With the largest fall ensemble in his time at YHS, Goeden said there are 4050 student involved in all the roles and backstage positions. The cast, while large, will feature both new and familiar faces. “One thing with this show — and it is somewhat of an oddity — is that you have at least 10 roles that are about the same size parts,” Goeden said. “Puck is being played by Cate Perakslis. She is very athletic and moves very well. I think that may be what I am most proud of from this whole cast is how they move on stage. I kind of prod them, but they use the set very well. We have some very fun fight scenes that they are doing very well. Cate has been one of the ones that has stepped up and been one of the leaders. She has been very solid. It is my first time working with her and she is just excellent.” He added he is proud of everyone in the cast. “The four lovers are Cole Schlafli, Sky Nockels, Taylor Wesseln and Zoey Bertsch, and they have some really fun bits and again are pretty top drawer,” Goeden added. “The main fairy king and queen — Owen Phillips and Kelsey Westerman — are extremely strong. Owen has done fantastic work and I have only had limited contact because he is out for football and band. But Kelsey has been one of my strongest from the get-go. The mechanicals have been fantastic — really they all have been — but those five are the main funny people.” Goeden challenges audience members to be excited about the prospect of viewing Shakespeare. “The kids have worked extremely hard on it and I think there are going to be tons of cool parts,” he said. “The audience, instead of going, ‘Ahhh, Shakespeare,’ need to think of it as a comedy. If they come, I think they are going to be very entertained and really enjoy it. “I definitely feel like we have great potential to put on an awesome show,” he added. “One of the things we have talked about a lot is accessibility. We want the play to be accessible to the audience, because sometimes they will be like, ‘I just don’t get it. It is too hard.’ You have to think about stuff, it isn’t handed to you on a silver platter.” Elvis is Coming to Town! That accessibility works for the actors on stage, too, Goeden noted. “For the actors, they have to understand what they are saying,” he said. “We have pushed on that aspect of it. It is supposed to be a comedy. There have been some productions that have focused more on the dark. This is not one of those. If we were going to do a dark play, (Shakespeare) has many of those “Macbeth,” “Hamlet” and others. This can be something where you can go and laugh and enjoy the process of it.” As with any high school extracurricular activity, the production is competing for the student’s time with all of their other activities. “I don’t think the process for the kids was too bad,” Goeden said. “Every fall play production, we go through the time constraints with the kids: they are in football, they are in band or what-not. So, getting everybody here and making it a priority can be difficult. You always want more time. It is pretty rare for you to go, ‘Gee, I wish I didn’t have so much time.’ I definitely could have used some more time with this this one, but at the same. time you need a destination where you say here is where we are and lets go.” Goeden praised his crew and their supervisors. “Our student director is Kaylyn Wagner and her assistant is Tess Zoss. They do all the mundane stuff that I really don’t like doing,” Goeden said. “Patty Korton and her crew took my very obscure set directions and made it work. It is supposed to be this magical forest, magic night kind of thing. I didn’t want the set to be very realistic with trees and what-not. I wanted stuff that could be more representative. And of course, the costumes — senior (Pam) Kallis has been a magician. She has pulled in a fair amount of favors and is sewing throughout the night to get it all ready.” The show will have a three-day run. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. this Friday, Saturday and Monday and the show will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door. The Yankton Area Concert Association (YACA) will present “A Tribute to the King,” starring Travis Ledoyt, on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Yankton High School theatre. Yes, Elvis is coming to town! No not the "real" Elvis, but Travis LeDoyt, who was featured in the New Yorkk Times as the "World's Best Young Elvis." LeDoyt was born in the late 1970s, and it was evident at an early age that he seemed destined to entertain. His impish behavior and clever wit provided a good deal of levity and laughter within the LeDoyt household. Growing up, Travis was exposed to a broad variety of musical styles and before long he was writing his own songs. Over the years, he has developed into a truly remarkable talent, singer, songwriter, performer and musician, but most of all he is fast becoming one of American's most convincing, jaw-dropping Elvis tribute acts ever to grace the stage. Travis flawlessly captures the essence of Elvis in his prime, presenting the hits and ambiance of 1954-1959. Travis looks like Elvis, wears very appropriate outfits, and is backed by a fine band of bass, guitar and drums. Some of the familiar Elvis songs that will be heard include “All Shook Up,” "Are You Lonesome Tonight,” "Blue Suede Shoes,” "Don't Be Cruel,” "Fever,” "Heartbreak Hotel,” "Hound Dog" and "Love Me Tender.” So clear your calendar and join the YACA on Wednesday, Oct. 26, for a fun-filled evening featuring LeDoyt's "A Tribute To The King.” For questions regarding your 2016-2017 membership, contact Betts Pulkrabeck (605-463-2205) or Gwen Van Gerpen (605-664-3837). Follow @shaunamarlette on Twitter. MV Shopper MV Shopper M I S S O U R I VA L L E Y In Print and Online! • 665-5884 M I S S O U R I VA L L E Y Participating Businesses Are… 2100 Broadway, Yankton • 665-3412 2 DAYS ONLY Brunick Rita’s Purse–o–Nalities Thursday & Friday • OCT 27 & 28 12” Zesta $138 Crackers 1Ib box FURNITURE & FLOORING Frito’s or Cheetos 3/ $5 7-9 oz. Delicious Breaded J&H Cleaning Services Pork Loins YANKTON WORKS Want your REAL-TIME MESSAGE on the most visited media website in the Yankton area? 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