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Stu­dents will perform an adap­tation of Shakespeare’s play. Tower Players | Courtesy

When the wedding of two theater stu­dents coin­cides with the first play of the school year, the pro­duction ends up with some­thing rare: a majority freshmen cast.

Next week the Tower Players perform Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well,” the final pro­duction directed by Director of Theatre George Angell. The cast fea­tures mostly under­classmen, including 10 freshmen, and a pro­fes­sional actress, since many upper­classmen had already marked their friends’ wedding on their cal­endars and decided to sit this fall drama out because of the con­flicting dates.

The adap­tation, set in the 1960s, follows heroine Helena as she relent­lessly pursues Bertram, the son of the countess for whom she works. Although she wins his hand in mar­riage, he refuses to accept a wife of inferior rank. She refuses to give up, and hidden identity and seduction ensue.  

“It has been called one of Shakespeare’s ‘problem plays’ because of the vast range of loca­tions and pro­duction value it takes to pull off such a show, so this has been no small under­taking for the Tower Players,” said senior theater major Glynis Gilio, who plays Helena.

The cast members had to learn not only the meaning behind the Bard’s Eliz­a­bethan English and 16th-century pop culture ref­er­ences, but also how to deliver them in a way that the audience can under­stand.

Jen­nifer Weil, the pro­fes­sional actress who plays the Countess, was invited to the role by the play’s director.

“George men­tioned the play and the role last semester when I was on campus. I was and am delighted that it became a reality and am honored beyond measure to be per­forming at Hillsdale,” Weil said in an email.

The majority under­classmen cast ben­e­fited some new stu­dents, like Jake Mckie.

“It makes room for a lot of freshmen, like myself,” said freshman Jake McKie, who plays Lavatch the clown, the fool archetype in the play. “I’m kind of thankful for that…Part of me would like to know if I would’ve got the part without that hap­pening.”

 “All’s Well That Ends Well” runs Wednesday, Oct. 11 to Sat­urday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. every evening and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 14.

“Bring overripe veg­etables to throw at me, if I do poorly,” McKie said. “Nice ’n’ squishy, but not bad smelling.”