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Bellydancing and Shakespeare Meet at AHS

November 3, 2010

Atascadero High School students are taking audiences on a journey from Ancient Persia to Denmark with their upcoming productions of Scheherazade and The 15 Minute Hamlet.

Scheherazade, an adaptation of 1,001 Arabian Nights, is a combination of exotic musical numbers and dialogue used to tell the story of a vengeful, woman-hating sultan, and the brave young Scheherazade, who used storytelling to stop the sultan’s rage.

AHS drama teacher and directory Catherine Kingsbury said she chose Scheherazade because it allowed for a large cast where many students could have their time in the spotlight.

“It’s a really great ensemble piece,” said Kingsbury.

“A lot of people have a chance to shine in the show,” said Erica Mundell-McGilvray, who plays Scheherazade.

In addition, Kingsbury enjoys choosing plays that allow for interesting settings and costumes, and Scheherazade, set in Ancient Persia with costumes of silk and silver, certainly fits the bill.

After Scheherazade, a group of students have put together The 15 Minute Hamlet, a short play by Tom Stoppard based on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy.

15 Minute Hamlet is an abbreviated version of Hamlet, and it’s a comedy,” said Jesse Westfall, a drama student at AHS.

“I wanted to do 15 Minute Hamlet for a long time,” said Kingsbury. When she chose Scheherazade, it seemed the perfect opportunity to do 15 Minute Hamlet as well, because both were shorter plays.

The double feature opens at AHS’s Black Box Theater on Thursday, November 4, and will run through November 14. Tickets and information are available at 805-610-9936, or visit AHS drama’s website for more info.

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