‘Shakespeare’ cast shines on stage

“Shakespeare Summer Scene Fest” features a talented cast of 11- to 18-year-olds who light up the Greenwood Little Theatre stage.

Directed by Steve Iwanski of the Greenwood Shakespeare Project, the performance includes 12 scenes from 10 different William Shakespeare plays, ranging from drama to battle scenes to comedy.

The “Summer Scene Fest” opens with Act 1, Scene 1 of “Julius Caesar” with Niobi Elliott as Marullus, Victoria Reed as Flavius, E.J. Davis as a cobbler and Molly Germany as a carpenter. The opening scene of “Julius Caesar” is lively, as the group enjoys the festival of Lupercal until it is broken up by senators who are wary of the populist support for the rise of Caesar. The scene is well performed and gives the audience a taste of what’s to come.

Jaylin Smith and Khyra Scott take the spotlight in the next scene as Antony and Cleopatra, respectively. The scene includes a well-acted back-and-forth argument between Antony and Cleopatra.

Act 1, Scene 4 of “King Lear” follows with Lear, played by Victoria Reed, who is slowing losing his mind, arriving at his daughter’s house with demands. The scene becomes humorous as Lear asks for his fool and includes some slapstick comedy. Elliott plays the king’s fool, but is quite a clever one.

“The Two Gentlemen of Verona” Act 4, Scene 4 features a monologue by Davis as Lance and a special appearance by Mimi, an Australian shepherd, as Crab. Davis gives an excellent performance as Lance, who introduces his dog and talks of Crab’s naughty behavior. The scene provided several laughs and ended on a heartwarming note as Mimi stands beside Davis and gives him a loving look.

Smith performs a monologue as Timon in Act 4, Scene 1 of “Timon of Athens.” Smith conveys the anger of Timon, who is in wilderness and talks of his hatred for all of Athens and everything in the town.

The first half of the show is capped with the iconic Act 3, Scene 1 of “Julius Caesar,” where the senators murder Caesar, played by Smith.

The next half opens with a well-choreographed battle scene between the Trojan and Greek soldiers. It ends with a memorable scene, where a Trojan soldier, played by Molly Germany, meets his end.

In another scene from “Julius Caesar” — Act 3, Scene 2 — Antony, played by Raghav Nallani, delivers a eulogy at Caesar’s funeral, which stirs up the citizens of Rome.

In Act 3, Scene 1 of “The Merchant of Venice,” Tamilya Thomas shines as the Jewish moneylender Shylock. After being taunted by Venetian gentlemen, Shylock takes a stand. While written in 1598, Shylock’s words remain relevant today as the speech talks of the nature of prejudice. Thomas’ delivery of the monologue is perfection, and her performance received a roar of applause.

On a lighter note, the following scene from “Much Ado About Nothing” features a ton of funny one-liners and includes a hilarious conversation between Beatrice, played by Paige Wilson, and Benedick, played by Brendan Pernell. The audience erupted in laughter throughout the scene.

To conclude the “Summer Scene Fest,” Nallani and Lauryn Aaliyah Evans provide comedic antics throughout Act 2, Scene 4 of “Henry IV.” Nallani, with some extra padding, plays the plump Falstaff, and Evans plays Hal, who is a prince and must face his father the king in the morning. In a London tavern, the two decide to practice Hal’s answer. The scene ends in hilarious chaos.

The “Shakespeare Summer Scene Fest” features an excellent cast and crew who have all worked hard for the past five weeks to deliver an outstanding experience for theater-goers.

From their acting to the costumes they created to the scenery they built and painted, it’s obvious the Shakespeare boot campers are some of the Delta’s best and brightest young stars.

Tickets are $5 each. For more information, visit greenwoodlittletheatre.com or call or text (662) 947-1075 to reserve seats.

Alicia Dallas