Shakespeare in the Quad: Thespians of OPHS Perform in Chapfest

Students participate in Chapfest

Students in the OPHS International Thespian Society competed at Chapfest, which is a Shakespeare competition held at Chapman University.

The thespians art back at it again. The Oak Park High School International Thespian Society took home the gold for outstanding monologue and set design at Chapfest, a Shakespeare competition held at Chapman University.

The actors performed act 1, scene 1 of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” as a group. In addition, juniors Edward Park and Karen Dotan performed individual monologues; costumes were done by senior Atmika Iyer, and a set design presentation was created by juniors Paris Logsdon and Zoe Reisman. The cast and crew auditioned for and were directed by Principal Kevin Buchanan, who also heads the trip and chooses the scenes that are performed. Buchanan commented on the format in which he conducts auditions for the play.

“I conduct the auditions before I choose the scenes because I want to see who’s going to come out,” Buchanan said. “Certain students might lend themselves to certain monologues, certain roles.”

The trip took place over two days; on the first day, two thespians performed their monologues and watched Chapman students perform the musical “9-5.” On the second day, they participated in monologue workshops, presented their set design and acted out a scene.

“We went over there, we woke up early Friday morning and drove all the way to Chapman University,” junior Eddie Park said. “It was just amazing to meet other kids who appreciated theater like I did.”

Junior Karen Dotan was recognized for outstanding monologue. Juniors Paris Logsdon and Zoe Reisman were recognized for outstanding set design at an award ceremony held after the presentations.

“It was really crazy. I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Dotan said. “We’ve actually never won in the monologue category or the set design category so it was a huge shock but it was an amazing moment.”

Dotan worked closely with Buchanan as a director on the monologue Lady Percy from “Henry IV Part 1,” while Logsden and Reisman created the presentation on their own based on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Both creators had entered the competition last year with a set design for a production of “Othello.”

“[Last year] they didn’t receive an award for it, but what they did get was a lot of feedback on their presentation,” Buchanan said. “This year they entered the competition and incorporated that feedback into the presentation and it really made all the difference.”