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Herndon High Drama Presents ‘The Tempest’

From left, Herndon High cast Jean Jeon, Jacob Snellbaker, Veronica McGrath and Cassie Copeland.

From left, Herndon High cast Jean Jeon, Jacob Snellbaker, Veronica McGrath and Cassie Copeland. Photo by Ryan Dunn.

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The cast and crew at Herndon High assembled for the production of Shakespeare's "The Tempest."

The Herndon High School drama team put on a production of William Shakespeare’s last play, “The Tempest” on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1. The last production of the season, this play will be the final work on the Herndon High stage for some of these students. “I love that the kids still love Shakespeare,” said Herndon High School Theatre Director Zoe Dillard. “Shakespeare gives you a chance to focus on the activity and the moment.”

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Paul Morgan (Prospero) and Lauren Gabriel (Miranda) in the Herndon High production of Shakespeare's "The Tempest."

The play was full of activity and tension. Prospero, played by Paul Moran, plots to restore his daughter Miranda, played by Lauren Gabriel, to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation. Prospero is aided in his work by the sprit Ariel, who is performed by four students, Megan Overton, Molly Nuss, Maria Coulouris and Bella Jurdi.

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Herndon Theatre Director Zoe Dillard.

The production of “The Tempest” had less scenic and stage elements then in the previous April show of “Cheaper by the Dozen.” In this production, the characters of Caliban (Steven Koskulitz) and Ariel had their makeup done by freshman student Annie Taylor and Aziz. “They really worked hard on the makeup and they deserve a lot of credit,” said Dillard.

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The entire cast prepares to take a bow at curtain call (from left): Steven Koskulitz, Megan Overton, Molly Nuss, Maria Coulouris, Bella Jurdi, Paul Morgan, Chris Hrozencik, Hunter Robinson, Jean Jeon, Jacob Snellbaker, Cassie Szymczyk, Veronica McGrath, Lauren Gabriel and Cameron Copeland.

The production was from the Folger edition but then slightly edited to be more accessible to a modern audience. The actors and crew did justice in the interpretation, encompassing elements and references from other Shakespeare pieces, yet still keeping it entertaining. It is to the actors’ credit that they preformed this piece of great literature before an audience with only one stage rehearsal. All the memorization and practice took place at home or in Herndon High’s Drama Room 175.

“We just did what we could with the spaces that we had,” said Morgan. “‘The Tempest’ is my favorite Shakespeare play. He has some amazing beautiful lines, and I just really wanted the opportunity to play him.” Morgan will be graduating this June and going to study at Ithaca College in New York. “It [Herndon High School Theatre] has been the best thing that has happened in my life. These people, Ms. Dillard, and all the parents, they turned me into what I am and who I am going to be.”

To learn more about the Herndon High Drama team, visit www.herndondrama.org.