(MCS) – As part of its continued 25th anniversary celebration, the Mount Carmel School Drama Club returns to William Shakespeare with an adaptation of his comedy classic, ‘As You Like It’. While the club has presented 12 Shakespeare productions, including a feature film, the last time the club staged Shakespeare was “Shakespeare Meets Disney” in 2014, which featured three plays by the bard with a Disney twist.
Leading the direction of “As You Like It” is the school’s Director of Institutional Development, AlumKnight, and Theater Club veteran, Victoria Deleon Guerrero, or “Ms. V.” as his students call him. As a student at the school, Ms. V held many roles in several productions, including lead actress, director, and stage manager. After graduating in 2013, she pursued her passion for theater at Seattle University with a double major in interdisciplinary liberal studies and theater. While at Seattle University, she remained active in theater with roles in acting, costume design, set design, direction, and stage management. While living in Seattle, Ms. V even got an internship at the prestigious Intiman Theater.
In 2019, Ms. V returned to her alma mater, where she continued to tell stories on stage and in film, serving as a co-counsellor for the club and teaching students more about costumes, set design and management. of scene. Since her return, she has also co-produced the club’s 2019 sold-out hit, “Mamma Mia!” and directed one of the recent stories for the school’s award-winning “We Drank Our Tears” film series.
Given all of her theater experience, it was a joy for Ms. V to return to directing a play. “Coming back to the Theater Club since graduating from high school has been so rewarding.” She added, “I may be their director, but they continue to explore the limits of their artistry in this production and I’m so proud to see how far they’ve come in just a few months.”
Working with the cast and crew was especially inspiring for Ms. V. She said, “I am truly blessed for every cast and crew member who is a part of this show. The students who started out in this production have honestly evolved in so many ways that even they can see a change in their craft.
As for the show itself, Ms V hopes audiences “will get to see how hard these students have worked for this production.” She even invites audiences to “dissect our production from character development, spectacle, and design.”
In particular, Ms. V stressed the importance of theatre. As she said, “unlike many other art forms, in theater you are not divided by a screen or a museum, but you watch people act and react to moments in life that are captured on stage.” This commitment to the visceral realism of theater is an important reason Ms. V returned to her alma mater to help others achieve this sense of realism.
Launched in 1996, the MCS Theater Club celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, commemorating more than 50 theater and film productions, including several Disney musicals, numerous Shakespeare plays and a number of original productions. The club began this year’s celebration in February with the sold-out premiere of the latest entry in its award-winning “We Drank Our Tears” series, the “Stories of Visitacion, Henry and Dave” at American Memorial Park. The club will continue the celebration after ‘As You Like It’ with a sequel 10 years in the making, the May premiere of feature film ‘Zero2Hero’, a sequel to 2011 cult hit ‘Zero to Hero’. Later this year, the club will continue the celebration with another feature film, “Isla”, and the classic musical, “The Sound of Music”.
“As You Like It” will premiere on the Mount Carmel School campus on April 30 and May 1 beginning at 7 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $25 for premium front row seats and $10 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased at Herman’s Modern Bakery, Java Joe’s Kagman Mobil, Naked Fish Bar & Grill, Puerto Rico Shell, Tribe Marianas, and the school business office. To comply with Covid-19 mitigation guidelines, tickets are limited and only available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Funding for this production is provided by the CNMI CARES Relief Fund for Organizations and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020. For more information, visit www. mountcarmelsaipan.com