The Lady Chamberlains


Megan Woody, Junior Reporter

 As the school year comes back in full swing, so do extracurriculars, which excellently showcase’s the values and passions of Briar Woods students. The student body is truly creative and diverse, from the meditation club to the hip-hop club, Briar Woods after school is a fascinating hodgepodge of experiences. One of the most unique extracurriculars I’ve had the pleasure of participating in is the Lady Chamberlains. A private Shakespeare troupe associated with Briar Woods.

The Lady Chamberlains showcases its talents twice a year with two plays, a comedy and a tragedy. All profits from proceeds are donated to the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter. The troupe continues the fine tradition of theater and community, while adding its own personal flair to each project. Audiences were delighted to watch Beatrice and Benedick profess their love in a classic 1950s diner setting and fell in love with the unique, thrifted costume choices.

Clare Brooks, the director and dedicated Shakespeare enthusiast, sat down to discuss the trials and rewards of producing a play, saying, “[The Lady Chamberlains] was my first experience with theater.” In the troupe her love of Shakespeare and theater grew, and she dedicated countless hours to making each show spectacular. As an amateur troupe, they faced hurdles such as perfecting “stunts” and “special effects.” Clare mentioned an eye-gouging scene from King Lear as particularly tricky, saying, “[they] spent a lot of rehearsals in someone’s basement with a lot of fake blood… [they] practiced [the stunt] at least ten times.” But in the end, King Lear was one of the troupe’s most successful shows, which shows what can be done with a limited budget and plenty of hard work.

Last year, the troupe had a bigger issue to contend with: the pandemic and subsequent shut downs, but they persevered, finding alternate locations to put on shows, following guidelines and wearing masks. Now, they’re in the process of staging Macbeth, which will be performed at the Broadlands Nature Center on November 20th at 1:00pm and 4:00pm