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Shakespeare at The NEO

Macbeth, 1947

Cast of Macbeth in 1947

A combined Loomis-Chaffee cast directed by Norris Ely Orchard performed this first-ever Loomis theater production of Macbeth. Headmaster Batchelder reviewed the show in the Loomis Bulletin, saying, “I was swept off my feet. The production was fast-moving, vigorous, sincere, and restrained.” Artist Sanford Low designed the set, and English teacher and musician John Horne Burns composed the music.

Macbeth, 1976

Cast of Macbeth onstage in 1976

Director Brian Davidson and the NEO actors created what The LOG called an “unbelievable interpretation” of the Bard’s tragedy. In an end-of-the-year NEO review, The LOG noted, “Taking socio-political revolution as its theme, Macbeth was set in the revolutionary turmoil of the late 1960s. Decked out in the music of King Crimson, Simon & Garfunkel, and Judy Collins….Macbeth was a tour de force of the sights, sounds, and thoughts of the ‘60s.”

The Comedy of Errors, 1979

Cast of The Comedy of Errors, 1979

The Loomiscellany announced, “another smash hit at NEO!” in its review of the late 70s performance of The Comedy of Errors. This production featured a very usual intermission. The LOG explained, Director “Rosenthal’s use of intermission as a ‘playground’ for the cast worked well, as the interaction of cast members with the audience not only provided many comic moments but served to draw the audience deeper into the land of Ephesus.”

Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1984

Cast of Midsummer Night's Dream, 1984

NEO Director, Dean Adams, told The LOG that his main objective with this show was “to entertain the audience.” Adams added, “It’s Shakespeare’s play but our production,” and this was made clear with fanciful costumes, makeup, and scenery. The show’s popularity soared well before opening night. 70 students auditioned for 23 available parts, and 100 students performed the all-important technical theater work for the production.

Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2004

Cast of Midsummer Night's Dream, 2004

Described in the Loomis Chaffee Magazine as “vibrant and hilarious,” this production’s cast included 23 students, 19 faculty children who played “pint-sized fairies” and one dog, Director Brian Kosanovich’s dog, Lear. The Magazine characterized action on the stage as “bustl[ing] with comical exploits, double-entendres and buffoonery.”

The Comedy of Errors, 2012

Cast of The Comedy of Errors, 2012

The Loomis Chaffee Magazine portrayed the most recent NEO Shakespeare production, the 2012 The Comedy of Errors: “Sword play and word play, chase scenes and slapstick all were part of the fun and confusion.” A professional fight director helped the cast master the subtle moves of fight scenes. The Magazine added, “One of the playwright’s earliest and most farcical plays, the show never stopped moving, delivering an entertaining night at the theater.”


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