PENDLETON - It sounds impossible - three men, 37 plays, 96 minutes. Eastern Oregon University in La Grande promises it can be done.

"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 14-15 in Pioneer Theatre on Blue Mountain Community College's Pendleton campus.

Wylie Peacock, Jeff VanVickel and Seth Yohnka, otherwise known as the Reduced Shakespeare Company, are the actors who will bring the bard to life. They've won the admiration of their director.

"These are three of our most talented students," Wheeler said. "Wylie was last seen in EOU's production of 'Sylvia,' and Seth and Jeff were both in "The Pirates of Penzance" and "Spring Into Broadway."

In the production, "Othello" is presented as a rap song and "Titus Andronicus is a cooking show. The comedies are compiled into one master work, and the histories are performed as a full contact football game.

"With only three actors, these guys have had to work extremely hard over the last several weeks," Wheeler said. "Each is playing at least 10 characters and also playing at least one female character."

Wheeler said Yohnka is performing more female characters than the other actors, appearing as Juliet, Ophelia, Gertrude and Cleopatra.

"He is totally convincing - well, almost," Wheeler said. "Audiences are going to love it."

The play was written and performed by Jess Borgeson, Adam Long and Daniel Singer. It's been staged all over the United States and abroad.

Tickets are $8 for general admission and $6 for seniors and students. They're available for purchase at Armchair Books in Pendleton or at the door.

The play is presented as part of the Sterling Savings Bank Community Performance Series and is made possible in part by a donation from the bank. The production is sponsored by the community School of the Arts and the EOU Theater Department.

For more information about this show or any other Community School of the Arts outreach programs, call 962-3629.


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