WVU students perform Shakespeare’s Pericles.

WVU’s School of Theater and Dance will bring its staging of the epic tale of Pericles to a close this weekend.

William Shakespeare’s adventure of a wandering prince at sea searching to win the hand of a princess has been brought to life by the 19-member cast under the direction of associate professor Cornel Gabara since March 2.

“We are in class all day long, and instead of going home and doing homework we are in the theatre from 6 to 11 p.m.,” said Joe Gay, a senior acting major portraying three characters within the production. “The purpose of coming to school is to challenge yourself with new knowledge and experiences to learn to better connect with ourselves and the audience.”

Cast members have had to overcome many challenges to ensure this rarely performed work is of the highest quality. The entire cast had to work with tough Shakespearean language, while ensemble members played as many as five different characters that must be drastically distinct from one another.

“Before you can act Shakespeare, you have to understand what you are saying first,” said Zach Powers, a senior theater major taking on four characters. “You have to have your text completely translated for you to understand and memorized before you can even begin to put emotion into the mix.”

The performance has allowed for the entire School of Theater and Dance to come together to put on the performance. Original music was created by Mark Benincosa, instructor of music technology. Maureen Kadder, instructor of dance, choreographed pieces for the show.

Along with the faculty, a large number of students from all majors make up the cast, crew, set and costume design team.

“I think everyone has this idea of what a typical Shakespeare show is, but this is definitely not a typical Shakespeare show I assure you,” Powers stressed, “It is a wonderful adventure you get to go on with us.”

Pericles final performance week at the Gladys G. Davis Theater runs until March 19, excluding March 17 for the holiday. Performances will be at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on March 19. Tickets range from $10 to $20 dollars and can be purchased through the WVU Box Office at 304-293-SHOW or by visiting Ticketmaster.