‘Complete Works’ is for those who love Shakespeare and those who don’t

At the Reduced Shakes­peare Company’s website, there’s a warning about its play, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).


“This show is a high-speed roller-coaster type condensation of all of Shakespeare’s plays, and is not recommended for people with heart ailments, bladder problems, inner-ear disorders, outer-ear disorders, Shakespearean scholars, degrees in Elizabethan history and/or people inclined to motion sickness.”

The tongue-in-cheek warning gives a little insight into the play first developed by the organization in the 1980s and headed for the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre stage for three weekends beginning March 3.

“You don’t have to know Shakespeare’s show to enjoy this. It spoofs every story in a clever and fun way,” said Betty Walpert who is directing the three-man show. “It’s interactive and engaging. They (the actors) come and go in the audience.”

There’s no fourth wall separating the cast from the audience at all as they not only go into the audience but interact with members. It contains a lot of improvisation depending on what reactions the actors receive.

The play appeals to people who like Shakespeare and those who don’t, said Walpert. Every one of the Bard’s plays shows up in some form in this production.

Michael Hamilton, Warren Post and Zachary Pareizs make up the cast.

“We range in age from 17 to 57 with Warren in the middle, and it makes for a fun cast,” said Michael Hamilton, the senior member of the group.

Walpert said she didn’t plan on having actors representing a wide array of ages when she cast the show, but she said it works because of the set up of some of the jokes.

Hamilton is a veteran of the Augusta stage. Most of the shows he’s performed in recently have been musicals so he said he’s glad to be able to act in this non-musical comedy. He said he’s also glad to have the opportunity to perform Shakespeare even if it’s not the traditional version.

“There are bits of Shakespeare in there,” he said. “I love Shakespeare. I’ve just not done much of it.”

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) will be performed on March 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. followed by the show at 8 p.m.

Tickets range from $30 to $53. For reservations, call (706) 793-8552.