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Eastchester Players Club Performs Shakespeare

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Shakespeare is coming to Eastchester Friday and Saturday night thanks to the Eastchester High School Players  Club.

The club will perform “Shakespeare in Hollywood,” on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. . Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students.

Eastchester High School junior Raylla Chan, who plays Puck in the comedy, said she loves being part of the high school theater group that performs two shows each year.

“I have been doing it since freshman year, and it’s great,” Chan said. “It’s a  lot of work, but we do great shows and have fun.”

The group is run by John Gwardyak, who has been the director of all of the Players Club productions since it began in 1993.

“We are, and have always been, a self-supporting program,”  Gwardyak said. “We put on two shows a year and we are almost always sold out.”

Gwardyak said thanks to television shows like “Glee,” it is becoming more and more acceptable for teens to be in the Players Club.

“We have about 60 kids that will be in our spring show, and almost a third are boys,” he said. “I can’t remember the last time that happened.”

At dress rehearsal on Thursday afternoon, the 40 members of the cast and crew knew all their lines and cues. The play, written by Ken Ludwig, is loosely based on historical facts. In 1934 director Max Reinhardt was set to film Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,”  in Hollywood staring Dick Powell, James Cagney and Mickey Rooney. But just before filming began Rooney, who was set to play Puck, broke his leg, but did go on to make the movie.

Gwardyak gives very high marks to his student actors and crew.

“They are all amazingly talented,” he said. “Regular Players Club fans are going to see a plethora of new faces and talent at this show.”

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