Shakespeare is an author whose works may not be easy to understand, but director Tom Jennings hopes that will change when the Kingman High School Drama Department performs "The Merry Wives of Windsor" this month.
"A lot of people think Shakespeare is stuffy and sophisticated, so this will be a good thing to see, plus the kids get to wear old costumes, which is what they really like to do," said Jennings, who chose the play because, for one, it's Shakespeare, secondly, it has a big cast and, third, it's a comedy.
"The language is the greatest challenge," Jennings said. "The kids must get used to speaking phrases Shakespeare used. It's a formal language and they're doing really well."
Sir John Falstaff (Shane Covey) is a knight of questionable character. He and his companions engage in stealing, filching and carousing.
At the outset, Falstaff is running out of money. He decides to woo two rich women (Emily Vandevier and Chelsey Burden) by writing them love letters.
They want nothing to do with Falstaff and consult one another after getting the letters. They plot revenge and by the time they are finished with Falstaff, the entire town of Windsor is having its revenge as well.
Situations and words to the play were written 400 years ago and are as funny now as then.
Other cast members include Spencer Nelson, Andrew Michel, Brittany Patterson, Tegan Gibelyou, Spencer Vandevier, Kyala Pascual, Sam Michel, Drew Cummins, Bailey Both and Shaun Dempsey.
The play also stars Angel Najarian, Becky Hayes, Kristen Knochel, Lola Cude, Brittany Turney, Cheyenna Schneider, Tasha Velasquez, Mariah Blair, Angela Williams, Megan Shupe, Anna Jennings, Sami Fennell, Kirstynn Espinosa and Ashley Amado.
Rehearsals began right after Thanksgiving, Jennings said.
"I invite residents to come out and see what the kids are doing, and how good they are at drama and acting of theater," he said. "The plot is funny and appropriate for any age. Besides just listening to them talk, there's a lot of action on stage, so it's a good story."
Performances are planned in the KHS Hilda Aguilar Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Admission at the door will be $3 for students and $4 for adults.
The two-hour play is in two acts with a 15-minute intermission.