On Wednesday, the theatre department acted selected scenes from Hamlet for AP English classes. Theatre II and III came together and performed five of the most complex, influential, plot-driven scenes for its audience. The entire production was 20 minutes and was directed by Matthew Hurley, the theatre class teacher.
I loved every aspect of the play. In the first scene when Hamlet met his father in a ghost-like figure, the emotion and the craze seen in both actors greatly impacted the mood of the production.
This play was put on in the Black Box, which made it much more intimate due to its closeness between the audience and the actors. Because there was no stage separating the audience from the cast, the emotion was extremely easy to see.
One of my favorite components of Hamlet was the portrayal of the death scenes. The duel between Hamlet and Laertes was so cleverly executed, seeing as it’s difficult to produce a scene that has death by stabbing and poison, as well as duel sword fight.The creativity shown in the performance, however, with the use of red blankets to represent blood and swords topped it off for me.
If I had not read and studied Hamlet prior to watching the play put on for the students, however, I feel like I would be confused about which character was which actor, and I would not understand how the plot developed throughout the twenty minute runtime. The class solely invited students who had read the story before watching the play, so that was not a problem. I did feel like the two sentence introduction read by a variety of narrators before each scene helped to set the stage tremendously and allow the audience time to process what they were about to see. I agreed completely with the selection of scenes to put on, and felt that they contributed the most to the story.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Hamlet put on by the theatre classes and am grateful that they allowed us to come in and watch what they were working on! The talent visible in each student-actor amazed me, for I cannot imagine how hard it is to not only memorize soliloquies, but memorize that long speech in Shakespearean English.
Thank you, theatre department.