Student club aims to turn the world into a stage
By Sara E. Sanchez for the Hiltop Views Online

In the small conference room of Fleck Hall 309, theatrical greatness is brewing.

Present members of Shakespeare Club at St. Edward’s University express a love for theater and the works of William Shakespeare, so they created a club where they can celebrate their enthusiasm.

As plans for the upcoming semesters are discussed, members get sidetracked, and become fully engrossed in a discussion about the magic of theatre, forgetting the original plans for conversation.
Shakespeare Club, in partnership with the Theater Transit Troupe, is planning a performance of William Shakespeare’s “Merry Wives of Windsor.”

The play is set to open in either March or April, with auditions to be held in early December. Adjunct professor Susan Gayle Todd, the faculty sponsor of Shakespeare Club, will produce the play.

To describe the goal of the club, Todd quoted Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players.”

Todd has a Ph.D in performance studies and theatre with a specialization in Shakespeare. She is also a part of the Weird Sisters Women’s Theater Collective, an all-women’s cast that performs Shakespearean theater around different Austin venues. The Weird Sisters have been performing one play a year in Austin since 2005, and have produced Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor” among others, including this year’s production of “Sycorax,” a play that Todd authored.

Shakespeare Club was co-founded by students Amanda Glick and Yvette Puga.

“It was Amanda’s idea, and she invited me to come to the meetings,” Puga said. “I was one of the first two, and it just took off from there.”
Shakespeare Club, which recently gained official recognition from Student Life, is in its second semester.
In the spring, the club held informal meetings and readings under the Sorin Oak, and took field trips to places such as Austin’s Curtain Theatre.

This semester the club will be doing dramaturgical work on “Merry Wives of Windsor,” and perfecting their vision for their production of the play in the spring.

The club will also continue to explore the theme of “cross-dressing heroines” and discuss historical and personal events that might have prompted Shakespeare to use this theme in so many of his plays.

Included in the discussion of gender is “Twelfth Night,” which the club plans to read next.

Shakespeare Club also plans to set small goals to gain more members. Ideas include organizing fundraisers and persuading professors to offer extra credit for participation. One highlighted goal for the year is to make students aware of Shakespeare and theater’s accessiblility on college campuses, and also the myriad opportunities available to get involved in theater, even for those who are not theater majors or minors.