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Local teens perform excerpts from 'Richard III' and 'Much Ado About Nothing'

INDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO - Christopher Leebrick directs students acting out a scene during a rehearsal last year.Shakespeare's Greatest Hits and The King's Players present selected scenes from "Richard III" and "Much Ado About Nothing" by William Shakespeare on March 17 at the Woodburn Church of the Nazarene.

Directed by Christopher Leebrick, a professional actor and story teller, both plays will be performed at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door. Group ticket pricing is available.

Now on its 18th year, Shakespeare's Greatest Hits is a teen theater program largely composed of home-educated students. The performance of select scenes from each play is supplemented with lively narration.

Each year, 20 or so students perform scenes from two Shakespeare plays, usually one comedy and one more serious play, either a tragedy or historical drama. In order to join the program, students must perform a memorized monologue from one of the plays. From there, students are cast in one of the two plays and for 10 weeks come to weekly rehearsals, which often go from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Leebrick said in an interview last year that he has seen firsthand how learning Shakespeare can change the way the students present themselves.

"Even though we're not doing the whole play, it's a full production," Leebrick said. "The rehearsals are intense. I'm tough on them sometimes. I can be demanding when I try to get the kids to absolutely give their best, and they really do."

Reserve your tickets by contacting Tammy Schwartz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-538-8099.

Woodburn Community Church of the Nazarene is located at 3601 Newberg Highway, Woodburn.

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