Theatre UCF students will sweep audiences off their feet this Valentine’s weekend at Orlando Shakes’ Kiss Me, Shakespeare! A Valentine’s Cabaret. The graduate students, who are in the third-year MFA internship program with the UCF partner organization, will perform romantic scenes from iconic Shakespeare plays such as Much Ado About Nothing and songs from musical adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays at four sold-out events.
“Through our thriving partnership with UCF, all MFA acting candidates spend a year performing with our theater and growing in their craft,” says Anne Hering, director of education at Orlando Shakes. “We are thrilled to give these fantastic young performers the opportunity to perform for audiences in-person after being restricted to virtual opportunities this past year.”
Meet Sarah Hubert and Darren Cajipo, two of the graduate students who are members of the Kiss Me, Shakespeare! A Valentine’s Cabaret cast:
Hubert, who is pursuing a master’s in fine arts degree in acting, has been performing for most of her life. After starring in multiple children’s theatre productions, she went on to perform at Orlando Shakes, Seattle Opera and other regional theatres in productions such as Kiss Me Kate and Hairspray. In following her passion for education, she has also directed in educational settings and has taught students ranging from two to 80 years old. Hubert currently teaches classes and acts in a virtual version of Aesop’s Fables for schools as part of her internship with Orlando Shakes.
Hubert’s favorite part of being involved in Kiss Me, Shakespeare! is the opportunity to work closely with her peers. Most of her cohort is involved in the production, applying the techniques and knowledge they have gained in the classroom. “It’s been very special to go through all of this together,” says Hubert. She credits UCF for helping her progress in her technique and for building confidence in her choices as she takes the stage.
After graduation, Hubert plans to continue her established path in performance and education.
Cajipo, who is in his final semester in the Theatre MFA Acting program, is an actor, singer and educator. He has performed with Theatre du Mississippi, the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Page Theater, Theatre UCF and Orlando Shakes. As a singer, he is known for singing lead vocals at major music events like Blue Angel and Gaslight at Winona, Minnesota. “As a Queer Filipino-American artist, I am committed to amplifying and empowering the voices and stories of underrepresented peoples through theatre performance,” says Cajipo.
Cajipo currently works as an educator at Orlando Shakes. He is excited to be collaborating with artists through the partnership between Orlando Shakes and UCF. “Despite the many challenges COVID has presented, the theatre community here is resilient and strong,” he says.
Tickets for Kiss Me, Shakespeare! are currently sold out. To learn more, visit https://www.orlandoshakes.org/show/kiss-me-shakespeare/.