Preview: Deadly Medley at the Garden Theater

From the July 12, 2012 edition

He wasn’t exactly Quentin Tarantino, but William Shakespeare knew how to rack up the body count.

Toledo-area playwright Trish Sanders’ “Deadly Medley” focuses on all of those deaths in a playful way: The production, which interweaves the plots of Shakespeare tragedies, has a narrator who keeps a tally of all of the murders and suicides. Sanders’ students from an all-female high school are performing “Medley” at the Garden Theater before taking the play to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland next month.

“I came up with the idea of taking a different look at what I call the typical high school tragedies, which are ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ ‘Julius Caesar,’ ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Hamlet,’” Sanders explained. She considers “Deadly Medley” to be “written by William Shakespeare and welded by Trish Sanders.”

Her all-girl cast — a fun twist on Shakespeare’s original all-male casts — enjoys getting to die so much on stage.

“One of the great things for actors is to play the death scene. It’s the only time in your life you get to die and live again,” Sanders said. “They’re able to have sword fights and have a lot of fun with the poison, stabbings, you name it.”

The fast-paced play clocks in at only 50 minutes, in part because the festival limits stage time.

“You have two hours to come in, set the show up, perform it and take it down, or else they’ll kick you out in the snow, or whatever it’s doing this time of year in Edinburgh,” she said.