Shakespeare receives an Excellent rating from the FCSAA

LSSC Theatre recently presented two Shakespeare adaptations for the college community. Two of the Bard's most famous works: A Midsummer Night's Dream and Hamlet were brought to life by a talented cast and crew at the end of February and theatre-goers were quick to comment on the productions after the shows, both in person and on social media.

These were not traditional Shakespearean plays. The Directors of each production, Kevin Arms for Midsummer and Dr. Scott Hopkins for Hamlet, rewrote the lengthy scripts into smaller, more manageable bits. Midsummer traditionally runs 2.5 hours, but this production ran 60 minutes from start to finish. Likewise with Hamlet, a three-hour revenge tragedy, Dr. Hopkins condensed the script to 70 minutes. The shows were presented in two different venues on the same night. A Midsummer Night's Dream was performed on the stage of the Paul Williams Fine Arts Auditorium, while Hamlet was staged outside the Fine Arts building on the lawn right after intermission.

During the two weekend run, the productions had the opportunity to be reviewed by the Florida College System Activities Association. The Theatre Division of the FSCAA sends out a respondent from another college to see the production and offer comments to the cast, crew and directors. LSSC Theatre has previously participated in this program for the Children's Theatre production of Robin Hood, which earned an excellent rating and the Community Service Award in November 2017.

The guest respondent for the FCSAA was Professor of Theatre Arts Selena Ambush of Daytona State College. She attended the show on March 2nd and met with the casts of both productions after the close of the performance. She exclaimed over the productions' quality, ambiance, and overall performances of the cast. She mentioned that students needed to work on articulation skills but was generally very complimentary to everyone about the shows.

Prof. Ambush then needed to file an official comment with the FCSAA which includes additional comments and more details that are technical in nature, plus the reviewer makes recommendations for a quality rating and awards based on a rubric. The quality scale is a five-tier system: poor, fair, good, excellent, and superior. The show may also be suggested for one of four awards: the Innovation Award, the Community Service Award, the New Play Award, and The Risk Award.

After an agonizing wait, the comments finally arrived in their long form. The response was extremely positive, with the reviewer noting of the productions that, "delivering the great words and stories to modern audiences by any means possible --- cutting, adapting, foraging for new ideas and exploiting old gimmicks --- is part of our job as the stewards of this work. It is for that reason that this production should receive the Community Service Award." The production as a whole was rated Excellent. The responder also wished to recognize Ashley Hall, Breanna Wells and Josh Sussman for their superlative performances in both productions.

Congratulations to the casts of both productions for their Excellent rating and for earning LSSC Theatre the Community Service Award!

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