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The bard goes to (Forest Grove) high school

Students are taking the stage with a show that speaks to their love of classical theater with a performance of 'The Comedy of Errors'

Despite massive budget cuts essentially halving the program, the Forest Grove High School theater department has been making some considerable dramatic waves in the past year, with students rallying for the self-produced comedy 'Harvey' last year as a demonstration of their love for the performing arts.

Now, students are taking the stage with a show that speaks to their love of classical theater with a performance of one of Shakespeare's most well-known early farces, 'The Comedy of Errors.' The play opened last week and has its final two shows Friday and Saturday.

The story of two sets of twins and rampant cases of mistaken identity, 'The Comedy of Errors' ushers in a new era for the school's performing arts, with special education instructional assistant and assistant football coach John Anderberg taking the director's chair, leading a cast of 18 performers.

Anderberg said 'The Comedy of Errors' was chosen because of an expressed student interest in Shakespeare. The show offers an immersive educational experience. It's a challenge the students were eager to meet head-on.

'Especially for the kids who are really serious about acting, it's a whole different world. It's a completely different kind of style, and it's important for them to have that idea of what it takes to do that,' says Anderberg.

One such student is 16-year-old Peter Lommen, a fan of Shakespeare's tragedies.

'There's conflict, but above all there's humor, which is important to any play, even if it's not a comedy. Comedy keeps people engaged,' says Lommen. 'It's not one specific story. It's a general story that can be transmitted across many different eras and spaces.'

Forest Grove High School drama students perform 'The Comedy of Errors' Jan. 27-28 at the school 1401 Nichols Lane. Show times are 7:30 pm. For details, call 503-359-2432.