Call Me Shakespeare at Edgewood High School begins as if it were a lecture on the bard.
The "author" himself speaks with additional comments from "the professor."
All seems pretty nicely laid out for a typical Chautauqua styled evening.
But then members of the audience playing Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain chime in with their comments.
Hamlet drops by for a monologue, and things start to unravel.
Even Shakespeare's identity comes into question.
Chloe Buse, who plays Mrs. Sternbaum, is a freshman and new to the theatre group.
Buse says Mrs. Sternbaum is "very opinionated. She's convinced that Francis Bacon wrote the Shakespeare plays."
Her character wonders how an untutored country player like Will Shakespeare could handle the variety of classical sources that Bacon had and used so casually.
Courtney New is a sophomore and a veteran of theatre at Edgewood. She plays the "doggerel lady."
"She's sure that Edward de Verre was the author."
There are grounds for this. The author of the plays certainly seemed familiar with such a wide variety of characters.
"It seems that he must have had some intimate knowledge of upper class society," New says.
The Edgewood High School Masqued Crafters present "Call Me Shakespeare" by Guy Endore directed by Beth Perney, April 23, 24 and 25, 2009.