To be… That is the program: Partin brings Shakespeare passion to town

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 19, 2004

West Alabama Prep will get a sample of Shakespearian Literature on April 23.

Rev. Gerald Partin of the Alpha Kappa Players of Montgomery is a traveling Shakespearian play producer and he has traveled to Demopolis to produce a version of “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream ” for children.

“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years now,” Partin said.

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He said he was originally a teacher at a private school that needed someone to teach a speech class. He also said he took the speech class, but only if he could take the group to the State Speech Contest.

“I took 16 children out of the 60 in the school to the contest and we had eight children win first place,” Partin said.

He said the children at the school wanted to put on a comedy, so he helped them with it. He also said a school in North Carolina heard about the play and wanted him to come and do a Shakespearian play.

“That was the start of my ministry to children and over the years I’ve probably done close to 30 productions,” Partin said.

He said so far this year, he’s already done six productions at different schools across the country. He also said when the school wants to have a production he brings everything from the props, makeup, full costumes, professional lighting and the scripts.

“I have the ability to fully costume over 80 children for a production,” Partin said.

He said once everything is setup there will be three scenes from the play that the children will act through including the throne room, Peter Quince’s home, and the forest. He also said there will be all kinds of different props for the children to interact with, such as boulders and trees.

“This is the seventh play for me this year and I’m looking to make this one extra special since this is my first time at West Alabama Prep, ” Partin said.

Alpha Kappa Players has done six different Shakespeare plays over the years including “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream”, “Hamlet”, “Comedy of Errors”, “Macbeth”, “Twelfth Night”, and “Love’s Labor’s Lost”. He also said when he’s not doing these shows he travels and performs a one man show based on his works of Shakespeare called “Shakespeare’s Wagon”.

“When I’m doing my one man show my stage name is Master William Colet,” Partin said. “I really enjoy doing the one man show because it gives me a chance to express my creativity on stage.”

The WAP play is scheduled for April 23 and will also be a dessert theatre. Desserts will start at 6 p.m. with the performance starting at 7 p.m.

“There will be babysitting service available for $5 and the tickets for the performance will cost $8,” Partin said.

He said he hopes the citizens of Demopolis will come out and support this play. He also said the running length of this play should be around 120 minutes.

“I’m really excited to be here and I’m looking forward to putting on a good show for everyone,” Partin said.


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