PennWest Prepares for Freshman Play

New Shakespeare play brings comedy while welcoming freshmen to the theater


Cal Theater

I Hate Shakespeare! Play

Anna Hohowski, Staff Writer

To continue the annual fall tradition, PennWest Freshmen prepare to set the stage for the upcoming Freshman-only play.  “I Hate Shakespeare” will take place in the Blaney Theater in Steele Hall, on Oct. 27, 28, and 29 at 7 p.m.

“I Hate Shakespeare” is a comedy-style play that pulls characters and scenes from classic Shakespeare works, intended to poke fun at the playwright.  The production will feature exclusively PennWest’s new first-year performers.

This year’s Freshman play is the first production at Cal Theater to be directed by a Graduate Assistant.  Quest Sawyer, a graduate of the Theater Program, has taken the reins as director.

“At some point, we were all introduced to Shakespeare,” Sawyer said. “If you hate Shakespeare, then you’ll enjoy all the modern-like jokes that make fun of him.  If you love Shakespeare, then you’ll understand all of the inside jokes and play references.  Either way you can’t lose.”

Freshman McKinley Klotz has been cast in a double role as a cheerleader and a witch.  She expressed that the play allows incoming theater students to familiarize themselves with the Theater Program, and to get to know their fellow aspiring performers.

“This show stands out, in a sense, that since this is the first-year show, you are truly able to see what the future has in store for PennWest Cal Theater,” Klotz said.

Freshman Tanner Martin, a member of the play’s ensemble, also says that the Freshman play helped him acclimate to the program.

“What’s nice about the Freshman play is that everyone is new to the whole thing,” Martin said.  “No one has more experience than anyone else.”

Sawyer explained that she has worked hard to ensure that the environment of the theater, under her direction, is positive, welcoming, and inclusive.

“One of my philosophies that I strived for was to make our rehearsal and performance space an inclusive, safe, and accessible environment for all cast members to create freely,” Sawyer said.  “I wanted to break the mold of actors feeling as if they couldn’t say ‘no’ if they were asked to do something that invaded their boundaries.  I believe I created such a space.”

Martin expressed that his experience as part of the cast has been positive and welcoming.

“At first, I wasn’t sure about being part of a big production so early on in my college experience,” said Martin.  “But the entire cast was so welcoming, and it really made my whole transition into college easier.  I’m able to be a part of something bigger than myself, and fit in somewhere.”

Klotz also expressed that her experience with the cast has been positive.

“So far, I have had so much fun, and I am learning so much,” Klotz said.  “I would recommend doing the Theater Program regardless of major for the experience and relationships you will form.”

Students will be able to purchase tickets at the Main Stage Box Office from 1-4 p.m. every weekday leading up to the event.  Tickets can also be purchased online on the Cal Theater website.  Student admission is free with Cal Cards, and all student tickets are sold on a first come, first serve basis.

Because the play will take place on Halloween weekend, all audience members are encouraged to dress in Halloween themed attire to watch the play.

“After the stress of midterms, we need a little comedic relief in our lives,” Sawyer said. “I think this show is the remedy.”