The remote Star Wars future and distant Shakespearean past are fused into one theatrical show on Vanderhoof’s stage this season.
On June 14 and 15, twenty-four students from the theatre and performance classes of Northside Christian School present in the school’s gymnasium four shows of “The Jedi Doth Return”, a retelling of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi as a Shakespearean play by American author Ian Doescher.
This year’s production from the Grade 10 to 12 students was chosen as half the group are Shakespeare fans, while the other half are Star Wars, explained theatre teacher Mark Durupt.
“So it’s perfect for everybody,” Durupt said. “On the surface, [the two worlds] don’t seem to mesh together very well, [so the students] don’t present just one thing or another, but have their own flair.”
For example, Jedi has a Shakespearean hat, he added.
“The passion is being able to read that play, produce it and put your own flavour to it,” Durupt said. “The students become their own artists to be able to interpret the play.”
All set, props — including an original Yoda — and costumes were produced or procured by the students.
For Grade 12 student Joshua Gill, who plays Darth Vader in the production, the project was hectic at first.
“Everyone put a lot of effort to it,” Gill said. “[The hardest part is] trying to merge Shakespeare and Star Wars together…everything from acting, building sets and props.”
So is he a Star Wars or Shakespeare fan?
“I’m both,” he said. “I guess that makes me a super nerd, but we enjoy it.”