"I actually get to play Hamlet in the second act," McCrary said. "So it's kind of fun because it's me and David Pendergraft and Joel Coady -- they are the two other actors in it. And we think it's funny that the female actor gets to play the big part that all actors sort of aspire to. So that sort of takes that convention of Shakespeare's day where women were not allowed to perform on stage and turns that on it's head. ... [The production is] kind of like CliffsNotes for the audience member who may have read a play of Shakespeare's in school.
"They might have enjoyed it or the might have just tolerated it. But this is sort of an overview of what makes Shakespeare's plays enjoyable. For me, as an actor and a director, what really makes Shakespeare fun is he created characters that we can still relate to. Everyone can relate to someone who has lost a family member or someone who just likes to go out and party with their friends. That has never changed. But what's kind of neat about Shakespeare is that because he's not all that specific with what he wants the performance to look like, that gives you a whole lot of freedom to put your own spin on it."
Presented by StageWorks Inc., "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" will be performed Jan. 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. at the Clarence Brown Conference Center's Carter Hall, 5450 State Route 20 in Cartersville.
"It's a comedy," said the play's director Will Brooks. "It's three actors who come on stage, introduce themselves as themselves to the audience. And then they proceed to go over every single play Shakespeare produced in two acts. It's about an hour and a half but they go through everything. They might just mention a play in passing but that counts. It's called 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)' so it's an abridgment of everything he ever did. So that's what we're doing and it's hilarious. We've got men playing women, women playing men, [actors] jumping back and forth changing costumes on the fly. There's props flying everywhere, physical comedy.
"It's just a really, really funny show. People will love it. ... [The comedy has] been around for a while. The great thing about the show is it's a show that even if you've seen it before, the way it's written it lends itself to us, the company, being able to update it. A lot of the jokes, the references, you can change them, update them to more of a topical type of humor. So that's one of the things we're doing. We're kind of putting our own little twist on it."
Since the play, which was written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, will contain some strong language, the show will be geared toward adults. Tickets will be $8 at the door.
For more information, call 770-606-5763 or visit www.brownconferencecenter.com.