Print Young actors perform a play within a play
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Friday, 16 December 2011 00:00

“Hamlet” is William Shakespeare’s famous example of using a play within a play as the thing to catch the conscience of the king.

Here in Camp Verde, another of the bard’s tales is inspiring local young actors to try their hand at a play within a play with a stage production of “Bard in a Box: The Taming of the Shrew” this month at the Camp Verde Unified School District Multi-Use Complex on Camp Lincoln Road.

Courtney Johnson, foreground, sorts through scavenged costume possibilities during rehearsal for the play-within-a-play, “Bard in a Box: The Taming of the Shrew,” at the Camp Verde Multi-Use Complex on Dec. 7. The Performing Arts Studios and Camp Verde Unified School District production will be presented at the Multi-Use Complex on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 3 p.m.Performing Arts Studio, a group that works to provide alternative activities for students such as drama and music, is working with the Camp Verde Unified School District to put on the full-length production.

The play is a comedy written by Ruth Buchanan about a group of students who find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere after their bus breaks down.

They find an unlocked cabin and a box containing copies of “The Taming of the Shrew.”

With nothing else to do for entertainment, the students attempt to act out the play, taking the audience along with them as the students’ characters perform as other characters in Shakespeare’s play.

Mike Showers, with Performing Arts Studio, said there are about 15 cast members involved, ranging in age from middle school to high school.

Last year, a group of students wrote their own play and performed it, but there just wasn’t time this year, Showers said.

“It’s still fun, though,” said Afton Seekins, co-director of the play along with Stephanie Stone.

Seekins has returned to the area after working with drama in New York. Stone works with the youth at Parkside Church and said the kids have been rehearing for the big day twice a week since September.

Showers, who recently took a job as the finance director for the Town of Camp Verde, said the new position is actually leaving him with more opportunities to eventually expand the studio’s offerings in the future.

“It’s been really fun,” said Lucy Showers, who plays the Drama Queen who plays Kate in “The Taming of the Shrew.”

“We pop in and out of our characters,” said Hannah Rumpf, a 10th-grader who plays the role of the Complainer who plays Bianca.

Both girls said they’ve had experience with putting on a performance before, from working with the Performing Arts Studio and groups like Missoula Children’s Theatre, which comes through the Verde Valley regularly to organize local youth productions.

The curtain goes up for the one and only show at 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17. Tickets are $3 for singles and $10 for families.