A whole new way to experience Shakespeare will be coming to the Metro area thanks to the Iowa Western Theatre Department.

Iowa Western professor Moira Mangiameli was looking for a Shakespearean comedy to include in the community college’s theatre season. The problem was, many of Shakespeare’s lighter comedies have all been done recently around the Omaha area. Moreover, Mangiameli wanted to find a way to get her students engaged and excited about the works of one of the greatest writers of all time.

The solution was to write her own show, one that would cover many of The Bard’s different works while being funny and engaging to today’s younger audiences. The end result is Shakespeare: The Game Show – An Interactive Shakespearience.

“I think it’s incredibly arrogant of me because I just thought ‘Oh, I’ll just write a full length play!’ even though I’ve never done it before in my life!” Mangiameli said, “But necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. I wanted to have something that the actors could really have fun with and it also answered a lot of needs.”

During the show, audiences will gain a new understanding and appreciation for Shakespeare’s language and characters while they serve as judges, actors, and contestants in a high energy, interactive showcase. The acting company along with audience members will travel from game to game, exploring characters, themes, and text from many of Shakespeare’s finest works.

Some of the game shows in the play include Show You Think You Can Act, Shakes-Fear Factor, Family Feudal, and Love’s Labour’s Lost Connection. The show also includes several of the 2-minute Shakespeare pieces that Mangiameli wrote for the past few seasons of Shakespeare on the Green. The best part about the process of rehearsing the show, Mangiameli said, is being able to introduce students to the world’s great plays in such a way that those students end up wanting to know more about them.

Mangiameli said, “I’ve had students say ‘I never knew anything about Shakespeare before and I thought it was so boring, but this has really opened my eyes.’ It’s great. That’s what you want to hear.”

Shakespeare: The Game Show will run from November 7th through the 16th at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa. For ticket information, call (712) 388-7140.

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com

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