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‘got Shakespeare?’ offers free entertainment to all

By: Susan Belknap, Placer Herald editor
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You don’t have to be a Shakespeare aficionado to enjoy “got Shakespeare?” a madcap comedy that concludes its summer performance schedule this weekend.
Rocklin High School graduate and Rocklin resident Dani Loebs is the brain and writer behind the play, a montage of comedy that intertwines modern everyday situations and dialogue with traditional Shakespeare prose that is part of the Rocklin Shakespeare Company she founded.
“This is our fourth year of performances,” said Loess, who graduated from UC Berkeley in 2008. “We’ve been dong this in partnership and with grants from the Kiwanis Club and the city of Rocklin.”
Loebs said the company is completely operated by volunteers ranging in age from 14 to 48 years old.
“We have lots of the same cast members from year to year,” she said. “All the volunteers help with the sets and other parts of the play. Some even receive community service hours for their work. We’ve had lots of exciting rehearsals this season with our largest cast yet.”
Loebs said the play’s plot focuses on all of Shakespeare’s most tragic characters who decide to band together to try to kill their infamous author as they desire to stray from their original script.
Loebs said she is usually behind the scenes of the performances working with the sets and lighting. But at last week’s shows, she also performed the role of Orphelia as she filled in for a fellow cast member.
“I’m the universal understudy,” she said.
In addition to the full-length play presented at Johnson-Springview Park, several members of the company have participated in impromptu performances throughout the community in what Loeb describes as “spontaneous Shakespeare.”
For 18-year-old Bradford Loebs, cast member and brother of Dani Loebs, the thrill of performing in front of a live audience is what keeps him coming back each season.
“I’ve been involved with the company for four years,” Bradford said. “I started working with the sets and two years ago began performing.”
Bradford, who plays Macbeth in “got Shakespeare?” said while he doesn’t plan to pursue acting as a career, he enjoys the art as a hobby.
Fellow actor and Rocklin High graduate Alex Giddings, 19, agreed.
“Our performances are what we work toward all season,” Giddings said. “This is my third year with the company and I worked my way up. I’ve played lots of parts and I’ve enjoyed them all.”
“got Shakespeare” concludes this weekend with performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.
To make a donation, go to www.rocklinshakes.org.

“got shakespear?”
When: 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Where: Johnson-Springview Park, community stage area
Cost: Free admission
Info: Bring lawn chairs, blanket and a picnic dinner

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