The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Step inside the House of ‘The House of York’

Gather your chain mail and armor, along with your lords and ladies, for the new play at Guilford plans to grab your heart out your chest.

Guilford’s theatrical adaptation of the Great War of the Roses has blossomed into their next theatre production: “The House of York.”

“It’s Game of Thrones,” said David Hammond, chair of the theatre studies department and director of “The House of York.” “Political rivals kill each other, and the other guy who was on the front killed someone else, so it’s interesting.

“Everyone always thinks their motivation is the true moral position. You know, I’m fighting for what’s right and, odd enough, what one believes is right is usually only (right) for oneself.”

Prickling thorns of blood and treachery stem from this true war story, which takes place during 15th century medieval Europe, while the play’s true message relates strongly to today.

“(It) is a very old story, but (it is) not even a story,” said sophomore Emma Moreno, actress and assistant set designer. “It is a very old piece of history, yet it’s incredibly relevant.

“We still have these power struggles. We still have the destructive ambition, and we still have the odd changes of leadership.”

“The House of York” seeks to not only be riveting on stage but also accurate to the time period.

Hammond’s script has been a 30- year work in progress, starting from when he taught at Yale Divinity School. The script not only encapsulates some of Shakespeare’s writing but also John Crowne’s, Colley’s, Theophilus Cibber’s and many others.

Bringing the immense story to life has required a substantial effort from every aspect of the theatre studies department.

“David and I looked at a lot of medieval architecture and clothing, but we also wanted to celebrate the age of our cast and how they bring their own life into it, so I was looking more at modern art and clothing,” said Robin Vest, visiting assistant professor of theatre studies and resident designer and art director for “The House of York.”

“I’ve been to Carolina Thrift and bought out their entire store of clothing, bought all their cowls and (we’re) doing some cool dye effects. I took a lot of clothing from the (University of North Carolina) School of the Arts as well.”

Shakespeare never has set designs or intricate costumes, so creating the visual effects for the play has been an intriguing challenge.

“How can my paint help to tell that story?” said Moreno. “How do these colors come to life? It’s that constant creation and knowing that I’m never done. You’re never bored.

“Working with Robin is excellent. She has a vision which is not separate from the actors and the story that is going on. Her sets are a character.”

The valiant efforts of the actors, set designers, costume designers, lighting technicians, sound technicians and directors are all nuts and bolts to the running vehicle, the production of “The House of York.”

“It’s very stereotypical, but these people are my family members,” said junior Lee Sisson, actress and costume supervisor. “I see them more than my family and the people I live with, and we all want the show to do really well.

“I watched ‘Julius Caesar’ at the Globe Theatre abroad this summer, and just sitting there staring and watching, I (realized I) get the same feeling when I watch our rehearsals every day.”

The theatre studies department is ready to hop into action.

“I hope a lot of people come to see all the hard work we’ve put into it because I will say I haven’t worked harder on a play,” said sophomore and actor Colin Tripp. “I will miss our students who are leaving next year and our director as well. He is one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had.”

Hammond will be leaving after this year for a sabbatical.

“I have papers on this play that I may be able to finish later,” said Hammond.  “I always love going to this world. I like when young people discover how explosive this world is. In that sense I have dreamed about doing the play at Guilford.”

“The House of York” will be running a free show for Guilford students on April 21 at 7:30 p.m. and then will have paid shows running at that time until April 25. The last show time on April 26 will be at 2 p.m. You can get your tickets in advance at the desk in Founders Hall.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *