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“Alas!”: student-run plays return to John Carroll

Theatre Club performs Shakespeare normal, fast and backwards to put forward the power of the performing arts.
Jasmyn Vislosky
The picture features a fittingly dysfunctional cast and crew of “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) [revised].”

To commemorate the 460 birthday of William Shakespeare on April 23, the John Carroll University Theatre Club staged, “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]” in the Little Marinello Theatre. The Theatre Club started during the fall 2023 semester and previously staged cabaret shows featuring everything from Shakespearean monologues to scenes from the film “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”

Vice President Maddie Jarosz ‘25 reflected on the journey when she told The Carroll News, “It has been an incredible process! We didn’t think that we would be able to put on a full two act show after only being in the club for six months. I am amazed by the passion and effort given by everyone in the club. We have left our mark in JCU theatre history and I cannot wait to see how we build from this show,creating bigger and better!”

“The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]” aims to condense all 36 of Shakespeare’s plays into a tight two hour runtime. The play spirals with multiple diversions into madness as the characters hilariously interpret plays from the oft forgotten “Titus Andronicus” to mainstays of the classical stage like “Macbeth.”

Kimberly Blake ‘26, Jonny Shell ‘24 and Becca Diller ‘27 acted as guides for the audience, leading them deeper into Shakespeare’s oeuvre while chaos and hijinks ensued. Whether it be a brief recap of Shakespeare’s historical plays told through an on stage football game or a condensed interpretation of all 14 comedies into one brief scene, there was something for everyone.

Jonny Shell, Becca Diller and Kimberly Blake were the three lead narrators of the show. (Alissa Van Dress)

The culmination of the play featured the company thrown into disarray when they presumably finished covering all of Shakepeare’s plays… only to realize they forgot “Hamlet.” After a few minor hiccups, the company completed “Hamlet” and for an encore, they performed the play three times faster and backwards.

Shell, who also played the role of Hamlet, elaborated on the pivotal role of the arts when he told TCN, “The Theatre Club is important for the John Carroll community because it empowers students to create and perform. This recent production was entirely student-run—student crew, student cast and student directors. We created something amazing all by ourselves, and the importance of that cannot be overstated.”

Audience members were enthralled with the story playing out on stage and were thoroughly impressed by the performances of each actor. Academic Success Advisor Ed Mish was in the audience and said, “‘The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]’ was an utter delight. The Little Theatre was filled with big laughs, compliments of Theatre Club’s big talent. It’s stunning such a charming, hilarious show was put together in a mere few months.”

Despite the end of the spring semester rapidly approaching, the Theatre Club has made its mark on the John Carroll community and it doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

Cast and crew (from top left to right) included Izzy Schuster, Brian Keim, Kimberly Blake, Anna Maxwell, Jonny Shell, Madeline Jarosz, Aaron Aldrich Aguilera, Alissa Van Dress (from bottom left to right) Becca Diller, Salem Burris, Vic Jackson, Emily Medina, Jonathan Kay-Lord and Lydia Bennett (bottom centered).

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About the Contributors
Grace Sherban
Grace Sherban, Editor-in-Chief
Managing Editor Grace Sally Sherban was born in the early hours on Tuesday May 20, 2003. She spent most of her childhood hooting, hollering and joshing around while constantly reading and watching movies in between. She continues to do much of the same now while double majoring in Communications and English so she stays busy between all the hooting, hollering, joshing around, listening to herself talk, class, walking in the rain and work. Grace’s biggest goal in life is to write a comprehensive novel about the 1955 Academy Awards Best Actress race and its implications on the movie industry. To request the slideshow on the 1955 Academy Awards Best Actress race, she can be reached at [email protected]
Alissa Van Dress
Alissa Van Dress, Campus Editor
Alissa Van Dress is a junior English major from Amherst, Ohio. She has a concentration in professional writing with minors in business, creative writing and Spanish and Hispanic Studies. Previously, Alissa served as the copy editor at The Carroll News. In addition to her current role as campus editor, Alissa is a JCU football and basketball cheerleader, a writing consultant at the JCU Writing Center, works as a digital engagement ambassador for the JCU Carroll Fund, and serves on the visual arts committee for The Carroll Review. Also, she is honored to have co-founded the Theatre Club at John Carroll University. Other than writing, some of Alissa's favorite hobbies include musical theater, vocal performance, fashion, dance and cheerleading/acrobatics. After graduation, Alissa plans to write for children's entertainment.

To contact Alissa, email her at [email protected].

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