Heejae Park OCSA 11th Grade
Recently, more attention has been delegated to the arts throughout Orange County as the region experiences an eruption of new theater productions. These include returns of former productions and premieres of completely new works, covering all spectrums of theater such as comedic and tragic performances.
As centuries of theater influence the globe’s artistic atmosphere, new works heavily guided by the pieces of some of the earliest playwrights rise into the spotlight. One of the most prominent is playwright John Reed’s “All the World’s a Grave,” a production which brings together a number of Shakespeare’s most eminent tragedies into a single story.
According to the Orange Coast Magazine, this play will feature tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, and more, bringing together their affluent characters into a singular tragedy and mixes together their individual stories.
Students are often assigned to read plays such as Romeo and Juliet, and sometimes even expose themselves to Shakespeare’s comedies, such as Much Ado About Nothing, as Shakespeare’s highly-intricate plays are often a valuable resource for prospective literature students. Older audiences within the community have also been privy to the playwright’s famous works, reading more of his tragedies such as Macbeth and Hamlet.
However, Shakespeare’s works seem to be given little attention outside of a classroom, and plays are often read only as assignments. However, the rise of this new performance may increase general attention towards theatrical productions.
Along with this new production are recreations of former works, with considerably lighter tones than the impactful yet sorrowful works of Shakespeare. A notable example is the recreation of the 1998 stage musical Footloose.
The musical was adapted from the 1984 film of the same name, which was considered to be one of the powerful movie musicals from the ’80s. Along with the film’s original music, new material has been written for the stage, giving a familiar but new experience to those who have viewed the film.
With these rising productions also come more comedic works, such as The Merry Wives of Windsor, a romantic comedy designed for family entertainment. The play is produced by Shakespeare by the Sea, which promises audiences to a night of quality entertainment outdoors. This play follows the story of a man planning to seduce two of the wealthiest, yet already married, women in his town in order to solve his financial situation.
A uniting similarity between these productions are their emotional delivery, and a particular work that promises to excel in its pathos is the musical that explores the last days of the screen and concert star Judy Garland, End of the Rainbow.
End of the Rainbow explores the last days of the iconic star before her fatal drug overdose, and includes some of her most prominent works, such as “The Trolley Song,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” and “Over the Rainbow,” and more.
The play promises an astounding performance that delivers powerful pathos and insight through music. The play has won multiple Tony nominations and Olivier nods, owing to its “savage humor” that accompanies the last moments of the renowned star.
<Heejae Park OCSA 11th Grade