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Shakespeare's spooks to return for another show

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

Since the first performance, a one-night-only event at Spivey Hall, saw a packed house, Clayton State University's theater group is bringing back "Supernatural Shakespeare."

The original, modern play, is a medley of William Shakespeare's scenes involving monsters, ghouls, ghosts and witches, the creepy, spooky and supernatural material from the Bard's 38 plays.

Originally, the Morrow university tied the production to a Halloween theme, performing the show on Oct. 13.

"The problem," said Phillip Depoy, the university's theater director, "was that the hall was full, that night in Spivey Hall. A bunch of students and faculty wanted to get in, but couldn't. So that's a pretty good reason to remount."

The premiere was packed with 400 people, said Lauren Graves, a school spokeswoman. "It was pretty impressive," she said.

A random, anonymous survey of 100 viewers, showed that 100 percent of people liked the show, Depoy said, which is astounding. A normal production will garner about 80 percent, in the survey, with a great show getting about 90 percent of people saying they like it, and a flop falling as low as 40 percent.

"People like scary stuff," Depoy said.

The only complaint the theater department heard was that some audience members wanted a printed program, so they could match the scenes to the text. Depoy thinks the guessing game -- is this ghost Hamlet's father or MacBeth's Banquo? -- is a large part of the fun, for "us Shakespeare guys."

Even for viewers who don't know their Shakespeare by heart, however, the transitions from scene to scene are pretty clear and their are some fairly obvious cues identifying each scene.

"Like," Depoy said, "when someone's called Hamlet, that's probably from Hamlet."

The first production was funded by grants, and featured three professional actors, giving the student amateurs the chance to work with, and learn, from paid professionals.

For the upcoming shows, the students are taking on the professional parts, having graduated into the roles. Depoy said he's urging the young actors and actresses to reach for new heights, during the remount.

"What you want to ask an actor to do," he said, "is make it new, every time. That's a challenge, a bit of a challenge, for the actors."

He was pleased, he said, when the three girls playing the witches from the play, "MacBeth," figured out exciting new ways to recite the list of ingredients in their bubbling brew.

"It was very graphic," Depoy said, "and really disgusting."

The upcoming, encore performances will be held at the University at 8 p.m., on Nov. 29 and 30. The play, which is under an hour long, will be performed in the Clayton State Theater, room 132 of the Arts & Sciences Building. Admission is $5.