Theater Info for Maryland

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

By • Jul 9th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
PFI Historic Park
Through July 29th
2:00 with intermission
$28-$26/$25 Seniors/$15 Students (Thurs and Fri)/Kids under 19: free (2 per adult)
Reviewed July 2nd, 2011

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company has a true Shakespeare-in-the-Park feel. It was outdoors, full of families and food. People were having picnics, barbecuing, and generally enjoying the atmosphere. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) is a great introduction to Shakespeare for novice viewers and an excellent homage to his body of work for aficionados. It is also just plain funny, and this production was no exception.

Overall, the three actors were appropriately cast, each was talented in his own right, and they worked together flawlessly as an ensemble. John Thomas Miller was the strongest of the three men. He had perfect comedic timing and was as flexible as a balloon animal. His ad-libs were perfectly timed without ever overshadowing or pulling focus. His Hamlet was the highlight of the show, because it was funny, real, educational, and absurd all at the same time.

Scott Graham is a very technical actor and excellent improvisationalist. There was an extended improvisational sequence at the end of Act One and beginning of Act Two when he really showed off his strengths. Occasionally, he seemed to lack full understanding of the character and the material. Sometimes he broke character and forgot he was part of an ensemble and came across more authoritative than Frank’s character.

Frank B. Moorman was obviously a great dramatic actor. However, sometimes in the comedic moments, he seemed a little stilted. Then, when the fun stops and he delivers his “What a piece of work is man…” monologue, he reveals his brilliance as a true Shakespearean actor.

Being at this facility of the first time, it was clear that the company really stayed true to their mission. It felt like a true Shakespearean theater, but the multi-level stage was not fully utilized in this production. Some of the blocking, like the balcony scene, was obscured from view from certain parts of the audience. Still, the director had a very clear vision that was executed well.

The costumes worked very well. The women’s dresses and wigs were exceptionally and really added. The props were well-constructed, but overused in this production. The lighting was uninventive but practical.

Despite the minor inconsistencies to the critical eye, this was an enjoyable production of an enjoyable show in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.


  • Scott Graham
  • John Thomas Miller
  • Frank B. Moorman


  • Assistant Director: Katie Keddell
  • Stage Manager: Lyn Tonnessen
  • Assistant Stage Manager: TJ Myers
  • Sound Designer: Scott Farquhar
  • Run Crew: Jamie Jager
  • Asst. Costume Designer: Marilyn Johnson

Disclaimer: Chesapeake Shakespeare Company provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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recently graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor's degree in mathematics, and began working with a marketing company out of Baltimore. During his time in school he would frequently perform his staple portrayal for the D.C. based Stroyka Theatre; all the while juggling his alternative position as filmographer.

2 Responses »

  1. Would be nice to know who the director was.

  2. “Joe” Anonymous comments are not allowed here. But thank you for pointing out that we missed the director’s name! I’ll get that added as soon as I can.