Bedford High School Theatre Company does Shakespeare


For The Bedford Journal

Sixteen student performers from the Bedford High School Theatre Company who recently presented Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” wore sneakers and casual street clothing, costumes set off with accessories that included capes, popcorn and an electric guitar well played by actor Brendan Joyce.

The play was presented three times during the weekend of Feb. 15-17 and was staged in the school’s spacious auditorium. The audience of family members, teachers and friends was ample on the three nights and well refreshed at the snack bar manned by volunteers during a break at the halfway point of the comedy. It was reportedly penned by Shakespeare around 1601-02 during the Elizabethan period.

The production evolved under tutelage of Tim Hackney, who was the producer, director and music arranger. Laurel Devino assisted as another producer who ensured that a myriad of details were well tended. Alyssa Dumas and Hackney devised the choreography. Costume design came courtesy of Amanda Ostrow-Mason.

Meanwhile, James Pingree was in charge of set design, a challenge mastered at times with flowing curtains that descended and retracted to indicate changes of scenes. Ed Joyce was in charge of set design, a task that entailed the use of sections of tilted flooring and a raised bandstand capped with a set of drums played with vigor by actor Brandon Jamieson during an energetic scene.

Others assisting during the play’s weekend run included Jeremy Lee, the lighting and sound designer and Ed Lee, the play’s light board operator, who worked closely with Kara Christensen, the production stage manager. All in the cast and crew extended thanks to others, including Michael Crumbley and SpeakEasy Stage Co., for helping to make the production memorable.

Tim Hackney offered a introduction to the event in a colorful program booklet offered to each attendee upon entering the auditorium. He said the “Twelfth Night” play is one of the most popular of Shakespeare’s works. He noted its wealth of music and deemed it his favorite.

He touched upon the work of social scientist Brene Brown, who has investigated the difference between “belonging” and people “fitting in.” The situation is explored in a humorous manner in “Twelfth Night.” Hackney said in the program that research indicates that some people tend to assess situations, then twist themselves into a “human pretzel” in an attempt to be accepted.

“Belonging is something else entirely,” Hackney said. “It’s showing up and letting yourself be seen and known as you really are.”