East Drama Department performs a Shakespearean Lab Theatre Production

Ali Koenig, Eastside Staff

Cherry Hill East Drama performed “Get Bill Shakespeare Off the Stage!” as the Lab Theatre Production on October 14 and 15, directed by Mr. Tom Weaver and Mr. Peter Gambino.  

“Get Bill Shakespeare Off the Stage” is about a drama class that is taught by a new teacher who wants to put on a Shakespeare production, when the students all want to perform a musical comedy. Cassie Cuddihy (’19) played Fran Caldwell, the new drama teacher.

When the students learn that they have to put on Shakespeare, they sabotage a critical rehearsal in an attempt to change the play to the musical comedy that they had in mind. But when the show is finally changed, the students realize how much they enjoyed Shakespeare, so they create another plan to put on the show their teacher wanted all along. Ray, a mischievous student played by Marco Porras (’20), is the mastermind behind their schemes.


“[The theme of the play is] appreciation,” said Porras. “Ms. Caldwell wants the students to appreciate Shakespeare. At first they don’t, but then they realize what Ms. Caldwell was trying to do for them and they give her the appreciation she deserves.”

Lab Theatre is the first production of the school year. It’s designed so that only freshmen, sophomores and new students can audition to make the transition into the East drama program as smooth and easy as possible.

Alicia Cosenza (’20), who played the character Phyllis, can attest to that.  “It was a really good experience to just do the freshmen and the sophomores, because it really got our foot in the door. And we got to meet some people, but not everybody at once… It was just gradually opening the door to the theatre.”

Although anything can go wrong in theatre, the cast was very satisfied with their performance. “The performance went great,” said Porras. “Of course there are always some mishaps backstage but all in all it was a very successful performance.”

Cosenza agreed. “It was a lot of fun and everything ran smoothly, so that was good,” she said.

To make the show a bit more relatable to East, some skits were added in between scenes.

For example, Paul, played by Jake Hoffman (’19), was looking for a date to the freshman dance, and Mary, played by Maia Venuti (’20), was lost on her first day of high school and tried throughout the show to find the pool on the fourth floor.

After Lab Theatre, the actors are looking forward to the future of East drama throughout the 2016-2017 school year. “I’m definitely going to continue,” said Cosenza. “I’m going to continue with theatre for the rest of my high school career.”