This weekend, the Hyperion Shakespeare Company pays homage to its favorite playwright, in a production complete with cross-dressing heroines and forced double weddings. “Mo’Money, Motif,” the latest installment of the company’s biannual scene recital, runs Nov. 13-14 in the Adams Pool Theatre. Over the course of the show’s 80 minutes, audience members can expect a mashup of comic, dramatic, and romantic favorites from Shakespeare’s oeuvre.
“Mo’Money, Motif” consists of a series of student-directed scenes chosen from different Shakespeare plays. Nathaniel J. Brodsky ’18, one of the show’s co-directors, hopes that audiences will enjoy the contrasts among the pieces, which are drawn from all sides of the Shakespearean canon. “I’ve tried to order them in a way that could flow like a coherent story,” Brodsky says. “But part of what makes it so fun is that you do get this mishmash of scenes that don't relate but are all entertaining.”
The cast highlights the show’s inclusivity as another of its drawing points. “This year's scene recital is especially different because we're taking the original mission of the scene recital to the nth degree,” producer Jerry G. Nelluvelil ’18 says. “We are here for literally anyone to participate and get to know Shakespeare and his work in a fun environment.”
Towards that goal, the casting process for this semester’s scene recital was especially welcoming; every student who auditioned was able to participate in the show. As a result, the recital will be many students’ first Harvard acting experience. Actress Cecilia C. Laguarda ’17, who plays the King of France in a scene from “All’s Well That Ends Well,” says that the openness of the show allowed it to draw a wider variety of student actors than typical HRDC productions. “It's so flexible and fits in well with my other commitments, so I can do theater without being a ‘theater kid,’” Laguarda says.
Brodsky believes that the relaxed nature of the show will translate into a more accessible atmosphere onstage. “The audience gets to see that Shakespeare is enjoyable to watch and not some over-the-top monstrosity that doesn't connect to them,” he says. With the distinctive diversity of both its performers and its scenes, “Mo’Money, Motif” aims to create an engaging experience for those onstage and off.
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