by Katie Lafferrandre
Theatre Sewanee kicked off its spring performance titled The Marriage of True Minds: An Evening of Shakespeare April 24 with subsequent shows running through April 28. As director David Landon assured the crowd on opening night, the show is “more than a collection of Shakespeare’s greatest hits.” It pulls scenes from the plays As You Like it, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Othello, and All’s Well That Ends Well to explore how Shakespeare has dealt with the theme of marriage across his most famous comedies and tragedies.
The first act featured the beginnings of relationships, the time before marriage, while the second act demonstrated the various ways in which those relationships can go wrong and the marriage can fall apart. The show then graciously presents us with the happy ending from Much Ado About Nothing before Megan Quick (C’15) performs Rosalind’s epilogue from As You Like It with as much drama, sass and wit as the character demands.
Indeed, the audience could not refrain from praising the director’s phenomenal casting. The audience gasped in response to Charlotte La Nasa’s (C’16) tragic performance of Desdemona and Elise Anderson’s (C’16) cunning and confident portrayal of Beatrice. After the show, many commented that she was Beatrice herself, and that Michael Caskey, (C’13) who played her counterpart Benedict in the show, was incredibly convincing as well. The two of them undoubtedly possessed the immense amount of chemistry required to play what is arguably Shakespeare’s most lively pair.
Overall, reactions were favorable, with spectators being continually surprised at the talent of their classmates and continually taken aback by the beauty of Shakespeare’s lines in a non-classroom setting.
“It was wonderful to finally see scenes from my favorite Shakespeare play, As You Like It, on the stage, and performed by such talented actors and actresses,” Kayla Deep (C’15) said.
Anne Carter Stowe (C’15) said, “I really appreciated the flow of the play—how one scene blended into the other, inviting the audience to make their own connections across plays. The different characters and scenes were almost in conversation with one another. Additionally, I want Megan Quick’s autograph now.”