The students at Lincoln Charter Schoolâ€™s Lincolnton campus have taken on â€œHamletâ€ as their first theatrical production.
Donâ€™t worry, itâ€™s not as scary as it sounds.
â€œItâ€™s different,â€ said Jimmy Connolly, 17, who plays Hamlet. â€œItâ€™s not the usually long, dreary Hamlet.â€
Instead, the Shakespearean tragedy is performed in just 15 minutes, and it includes a lot of laughs.
The play cast students who are in the fifth grade and up. For most, this is their first taste of the stage.
â€œIt teaches them self discipline, teamwork and an appreciation of dramatic literature,â€ said Peggy Boring, a teacher at the school and director of the play.
The â€œvery looseâ€ adaptation of â€œHamletâ€ will be performed April 27 at the Lincoln Cultural Center for Lincoln Charter students and their families.
It is being performed alongside â€œThe Last Flapper,â€ a one-woman show about Zelda Fitzgerald starring Mary Williams. Boring directs both productions.
â€œItâ€™s a companion show to â€˜Zelda,â€™â€ Boring said of â€œHamlet.â€ â€œI wanted it to be something that would have some substance to it.â€
And while â€œHamletâ€ still includes famous quotes and Shakespearean language, it also has lots of laughs and some funny costumes.
Clowns, cowboys, acrobats and kings all appear on stage.
â€œWe have no budget and no resources to speak of, and this was easier than Elizabethan costumes and much more creative,â€ Boring said.
Evan Tabor, 16, was happy his costume was more traditional than most.
â€œI think I look cool in it because I have a big sword and a cape â€“ which makes everything cooler,â€ he said.
Denny Sabo, a history teacher at the school, performs as the ringmaster, better known as Shakespeare himself.
â€œItâ€™s a great experience,â€ he says of the show.
He hopes performing in a Shakespearean play will encourage students to do more theater.
â€œI tell all my students if you have a chance to get involved do it,â€ he said.
Especially if itâ€™s Shakespeare.
â€œI think thereâ€™s a certain mystique or mystery, a certain romance involved in his plays,â€ he said. â€œHe writes about life in a very passionate way â€“ romance and anger and vengeance.â€
Some of the fifth-grade students have a different opinion of the playwright.
When asked if she understood Shakespeare, Taylor Helms said â€œKind of. Yeah. A little.â€
Ashley Helms, 11, said, â€œItâ€™s hard to understand most of it.â€
That said, other students have developed a new appreciation for the bard.
â€œâ€˜Hamletâ€™ is pretty all right,â€ said Albert Cortes, 16.
Jason Richey, 16, agrees.
â€œI never realized it until I started this,â€ he said.
by Sarah Grano