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Sakuntala to be one of the most elaborate Classics productions yet

Two to three hour rehearsals have been held almost every weekday over the past month. Perhaps you have heard misplaced animal noises or screams emanating from the quad – a telltale sign that, indeed, another rehearsal is being held.

[box type:”info”] Classics will be taking place at 6 p.m. Saturday to account for for the colder weather and earlier sunset. [/box]

Kalidasa’s Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection is not just a mouthful to say, but may also be the most elaborate Classics play ever staged at King’s.

Cast members Sam Hodgkins-Sumner, Edie Reaney Chunn, Sofia Zaman and Paisley Conrad promise star-crossed lovers, innuendos, bows of passion and conspiring gods. Producer Michael Tucker also reveals that this will be the first Classics production featuring elements of real fire.
Sakuntala is an ancient Sanskrit play that tells the tale of warrior king Duhshanta’s romance and marriage to the nymph-like Sakuntala. When the gods curse their union, Duhshanta forgets his wife’s existence, forcing Sakuntala to embark on a journey to re-spark her husband’s memory.
Zaman, who plays the role of Sakuntala’s companion Priyamvata, compares the production to a Sanskrit version of Cinderella.
“Instead of losing the shoe at the ball,” Zaman says, “she is cursed with the promise of a ring bringing back her love.”
Bringing the story to life has meant a tremendous amount of work. Two to three hour rehearsals have been held almost every weekday over the past month. Perhaps you have heard misplaced animal noises or screams emanating from the quad – a telltale sign that, indeed, another rehearsal is being held.

Sakuntala cast members at the Wardroom. From left to right: Edie Reaney Chunn, Paisley Conrad, Sofia Zaman and Sam Hodgkins-Sumner (Photo: Haleigh Atwood)

Classics in the Quad is an annual tradition, and is usually considered to be the start of a new year for the King’s Theatrical Society (KTS). With role preference often given to first year students, Hodgkins-Sumner says it is an efficient way for himself and other first year cast members to get involved in the KTS community, and to grow closer to fellow King’s men and women.
Conrad, who plays a celestial nymph in the production, believes Classics adds to the inclusivity and uniqueness of the university and its campus. “What other school puts on a classic play, in a month, outside in front of a beautiful old building?”
“You literally walk out your front door, and the play is right there.”
The show begins at 6p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18 and will take place after dusk. Blankets and knit sweaters are advised. Be prepared to experience an onset of goose bumps, either from the poetic dialogue of the play or the autumn air.
There will be a brief public reception in the Senior Common Room immediately following the production.

By David J. Shuman

David is a second-year journalism student at King's, is engagement/news editor of The Watch, and a copy editor of The Pigeon. He writes on student politics, campus happenings, and school news. 

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