Student actors in the upcoming Westminster High School play a¢,ǨaìThe Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridgeda¢,Ǩ¬ù are shown during a rehearsal at the school Oct. 23. The play will take place at the school at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov.14. Pictured from left, front row: Jeffrey Wack, Nicole Banks and Beth Dorris; middle row: Will Bricca, Jared Williams, Michelle Guldan and Maddy Marks; back row: Spencer Teal, and Willem Rogers._- Original Credit: Submitted photo
Student actors in the upcoming Westminster High School play a¢,ǨaìThe Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridgeda¢,Ǩ¬ù are shown during a rehearsal at the school Oct. 23. The play will take place at the school at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov.14. Pictured from left, front row: Jeffrey Wack, Nicole Banks and Beth Dorris; middle row: Will Bricca, Jared Williams, Michelle Guldan and Maddy Marks; back row: Spencer Teal, and Willem Rogers._- Original Credit: Submitted photo (HANDOUT)

Get ready to see the work of Shakespeare as you've never seen it when Westminster High School's drama department presents "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged," a play by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, the original members of The Reduced Shakespeare Company.

The show will take place at the school at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov. 14.

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The high school website asks the question, "Can a small group of actors really cover 37 Shakespeare plays in less than two hours?"

While the original show was written and performed by three actors, WHS is doing it with a cast of nine, which will perform parodies of all of Shakespeare's plays plus the sonnets — all in two acts.

The show starts with an eccentric version of "Romeo and Juliet," followed by parodies of "Titus Andronicus," "Othello," and a hilarious football game that summarizes the histories — "King John," "Richard II," "Richard III," "Henry IV" and so on — complete with commentary and details of each king's rise and fall from power. The show culminates with an abbreviated version of "Hamlet."

"I've always loved this show and have used the video of the original cast's performance in my Shakespeare class. The show [requires] a cast that can not only play multiple characters — switching quickly between them — but also improv well, and I felt I had a number of students this year who could do both well," drama director Melissa Purdy said.

Westminster High senior Michelle Guldan acts as the narrator in "Romeo and Juliet," Macduff in "MacBeth," Horatio in "Hamlet" and King Henry VIII when the play covers the histories.

Guldan said she enjoys playing multiple characters, even though it has been a challenge to keep all of the props in order.

"Going from a cast of three — as the Complete Works was originally written for three people — to a cast of nine has actually worked well. We've had to do some rewriting and reworking of characters, but it has been a ton of fun," Guldan said.

Senior Madelyn Marks, who plays Benvolio in "Romeo and Juliet," a witch in "MacBeth," Polonius in "Hamlet," and King John in the histories, said she likes how undertaking several roles has helped her grow as an actress.

"I love this show because of the challenge of having to switch mindsets between characters within a matter of seconds," Marks said. "It's a huge challenge because each character has a different physical and mental aspect and having to change within a matter of seconds and make it appear simple has helped me develop as an actor."

Purdy said people should not be put off by the fact that the show is based on Shakespeare.

"It is an incredibly funny show that puts a crazy spin on Shakespeare's plays," she said. "We rap, play football, and the audience gets to participate in the show. It's all fun. The cast is also is very talented, making a technically difficult show look easy and effortless," she said.

Guldan said the show will keep the audience laughing.

"I adore doing comedies, and this show is a great one," Guldan said. "Everyone in the cast is hilarious. I hope the audience comes ready to laugh, and participate."

Westminster High School is at 1225 Washington Road in Westminster. Tickets cost $7 at the door. For more information, call the school at 410-751-3630.

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Pub quiz

The Finksburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library invites guests to sign up to join in the fun of a pub quiz at New York J&P Pizza, in Finksburg, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5.

This library-sponsored program offers an opportunity to give your brain a workout during a night of trivia fun with prizes.

Bryan Hissong, manager of the Finksburg library, said circulation manager Anita Crawford learned about pub quizzes at a public library conference several years ago.

"She brought the idea back and we thought it would be fun to partner with a local restaurant to do our own library-sponsored pub quiz," Hissong said, noting that Kim Hare, owner of the restaurant, has helped the library with past fundraisers and events.

Hissong said this is the first pub quiz the library has held. It is geared toward adults and teens. He said 10 categories will include subjects like history, geography, celebrity chefs, autobiographies, superheroes and sports.

"Family teams — including parents and kids — would certainly be a fun addition," Hissong said. "Everyone participating will get a prize. And the winner will receive a $50 gift card to [New York J&P Pizza]."

Teams of four can sign up by calling the Finksburg library at 410-386-4505.

New York J&P Pizza is at 3000 Gamber Road in Finksburg.

Serving lunch

Benjamin's Krider's United Church of Christ will hold a luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, that will feature a variety of homemade soups and sandwiches available for purchase.

The eat-in or carryout menu includes vegetable beef, chicken noodle and corn chowder soups for $3 a bowl; triple grilled cheese sandwiches made with Muenster, Parmesan, and American cheeses for $3.50 each; barbecue sandwiches for $3 each; and orchard chicken salad sandwiches for $4 each.

Drinks and desserts will also be available for purchase, including iced tea and bottled water for $1 each; gingerbread topped with lemon sauce or whipped cream for $2 each; and brownies for $1. Also, look for flea market items for sale at the luncheon, including books, jewelry, glassware and more. Proceeds of this event will support church outreach projects, including The Shepherd's Staff, Heifer International, Carroll County Public School food pantries and winter coats, the Casey Cares Foundation, Operation Smile, Carroll County Food Sunday, and the Westminster Rescue Mission.

The church is at 208 Krider's Church Road in Westminster. For more information, call 410-857-5525 or email kridersucc@gmail.com.

Celebrating renovations

On Nov. 1, Patapsco United Methodist Church will hold a celebration of its past and future while commemorating church renovations. At the Sunday service that morning the theme will be "Keeping the Church Alive."

According to church member Lydia Korman, the church was built in 1884.

"Some of the renovations were [work on the] the foundation, new siding on the outside of the church, new shutters, drywall for the Sunday school room ceilings, painting of walls and trim, new lights and electrical work," Korman said. "The little white church on the hill is more beautiful than ever. What a great time to celebrate."

Korman said everyone is invited to attend the service, as well as a free luncheon afterward, to be held at the Church Hall.

The church is at 2930 Patapsco Road in Finksburg. For more information call them at 410-857-9210

Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. To contact her call 443-293-7811 or email loisszymanski@hotmail.com.

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