Photo by Sam Sarkozi: Mr. Moore leads a rehearsal session.
Mr. Moore, the PACE Theater teacher of 6 years, has tirelessly worked to direct and teach about the works of William Shakespeare. He has not only done this in PACE, but also throughout his work as the director the Mamaroneck Shakespeare Players for the past four years. Unfortunately, this will be Mr. Moore’s last year in charge of running the long-standing company.
Founded 42 years ago, Mamaroneck Shakespeare Players has performed both a comedy and a tragedy every year. This year, the company will be performing The Tempest, a comedy, and Macbeth, a tragedy.
The Tempest follows the story of Prospero as he works to establish justice again after his throne was usurped by Antonio, his brother. Throughout the play, he interacts with Miranda, his daughter, and Ariel, a spiritual agent he has rescued from imprisonment, but now enslaves as his own. Macbeth is the story of how Lady Macbeth and Macbeth conspire for the throne of Scotland. The tales contrast: one ending in peril and the other in forgiveness.
With these two plays in mind, Mr. Moore has decided to reconfigure the set and the way in which the plays will be presented to the audience. As part of this, he has decided to eliminate the large scaffolding structure that he, and other Shakespeare directors, have previously used. He says, “I’m doing things very minimal — minimalist to a degree. I don’t know if its because it’s the last year I’m doing it. I don’t know if that’s why, but the idea of essentially language in space was really appealing to me.”
Students in the Shakespeare program are also impacted by the work Mr. Moore has done to make these texts accessible and engaging to more than a few students. As said by Julia Hintz ’18 “the passion he has for not only for the program as a whole, but his individual students and their success is incredible, I think everyone in the program will really miss him in the years ahead and I wish him the best.” Mr. Moore has changed the way that students understand and think about theater.
Not only will the plays change next year, but the director will as well. However, Mr. Moore encourages and welcomes this change to the company because he thinks that “it should change and evolve with each person, because then it will be the best experience for the students, if that [director] is doing what is right for them.” Because of this profound dedication to the work that he has, Mr. Moore’s work will not go uncelebrated.
Mr. Moore’s work as director of the Mamaroneck Shakespeare Players has had a vast impact on both students involved in the Shakespeare program but also the general student body. Having the opportunity to see a live Shakespeare performance, in any year of high school, is a truly eye-opening experience that can change the way one thinks about language, art, poetry, and storytelling. Mr. Moore will not be forgotten. His choice to present The Tempest as a play for his last year represents his final Shakespeare season, given that it was one of Shakespeare’s final plays that many scholars believe was his ‘goodbye’ to the playwriting world. Mr. Moore comments on the nature of the play by saying, “To think about a person of such genius, for lack of a better way of putting it, looking back at the environment that has treated him so well and that he’s prospered in so much, and that he’s given so much too — and this person saying ‘It’s been fun. Thanks.’ I think that is really lovely.” This play acts as both a metaphor for Shakespeare’s last play and Mr. Moore’s last year.
Auditions will come around in June again and students will say their final goodbyes, no one can replace the influence that Mr. Moore has made on the students and the community of Mamaroneck High School.
By Eliza Grace Cattau