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GISH Theater to perform two Shakespeare plays this weekend

About 70 students will perform “Richard III” and “Romeo, You Idiot” Friday and Saturday at Grand Island Senior High. “Richard II” will be performed first in the auditorium, then “Romeo, You Idiot” will be performed in the Little Theater. Tickets are $5 for the shows, and $8 for the shows and dessert between performances. The money will go to help the GISH fine arts group who will travel to New York City this summer.

It’s been a few years since GISH Theater has done two Shakespeare plays at once. Greg Ulmer and Christine Kier, drama teachers at GISH, said they wanted to let as many students experience Shakespeare as possible.

“Anytime we can get students on stage, we like to, because it gives them the experience to be up there,” Ulmer said. “You can learn so many beneficial things from learning Shakespeare, such as history, classic literature and unique vocabulary.”

GISH Theater’s production of “Richard III” is set in a post-apocalyptic time. “Romeo, You Idiot” is a parody on “Romeo and Juliet.”

“We’re trying to show the students that Shakespeare is timeless. The plots are universal,” Kier said.

GISH senior Yajayra Borrego plays Lord Stanley in “Richard III” and Friar Lawrence in “Romeo, You Idiot.”

She said being in both Shakespeare shows is challenging, but fun. Borrego said she enjoys how different both of the shows are, and how they’re portrayed in their own unique way. She said Shakespeare’s writing is incredible, complex and unique. Borrego likes how playful the language in Shakespeare’s plays are.

Drew Sheard in "Richard III"

GISH senior Drew Sheard, who plays Richard in “Richard III,” said he also enjoys Shakespeare.

“I have about four or five Shakespeare monologues memorized just because they are that good,” Sheard said.

Usually cast as the comedic relief, Sheard said he is enjoying his darker role as Richard.

“I have to do more to get in character,” Sheard said.

Since Sheard and Borrego are seniors, these performances could mark the last time they perform Shakespeare.

“I started doing theater my sophomore year, and I regretted not starting earlier,” Borrego said. “Now I just want to do as much as I can before I leave.”

Sheard said he doesn’t know where he’s headed with theater after high school, but he knows how much his dad still enjoys performing.

“If I have the chance to do it again after my senior year, I definitely will,” Sheard said.

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