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Students Present Five Epic Performances of Shakespeare's 'Pericles'

Audiences delighted in the student production of Pericles: Prince of Tyre, William Shakespeare's tale of love and virtue overcoming treachery and deceit, in the Norris Ely Orchard Theater during the play's five-performance run October 25–28.

Set in medieval localities across the ancient Mediterranean, Pericles is a magical adventure story and romantic comedy of epic proportions. The production brought the Jacobean melodrama to life on the NEO stage with dynamic action, larger-than-life and other-worldly characters, and a solid mastery of the text and language.

The ensemble production, with senior Macon Jeffries as Pericles, featured every cast member in a variety of roles. These included a combination of cast members in the speaking and movement roles of King Antiochus, a life-sized puppet, whose booming voice, menacing mask, and levered arms deepened the threatening presence of the monstrous sovereign.

Audiences were entertained by the mix of comedy, romance, sorrow, and nearly non-stop stage action, including sea storms, shipwrecks, and sword-fights, as well as music and dance sequences. The whimsical period costumes and set decoration helped carry the mystical themes of the play.

Pericles has traveled in and out of favor with literary and theater scholars since its inception. Missing the typical structure and poetry of Shakespeare's comedies, modern editors now agree Pericles was likely written by the Bard in collaboration with a writer named George Wilkins.

Directed by theater teacher David McCamish, with assistance from English teacher and Shakespeare scholar Will Eggers, and produced by theater teacher Candice Chirgotis, the epic play was a challenge to mount on the NEO stage, acknowledges David in his Playbill notes. But audiences enjoyed a full measure of theatrical display, equal to the high quality of productions that have become a tradition on the Island with each year's fall dramatic production.

View a copy of the Playbill for a full listing of cast and crew and their bios, and other acknowledgements.

Connect to view a gallery of photos from Pericles.

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