Home » Local News » Life » Not your typical Shakespeare

Not your typical Shakespeare

The students at Lincoln Charter School’s Lincolnton campus have taken on “Hamlet” as their first theatrical production.
Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.
“It’s different,” said Jimmy Connolly, 17, who plays Hamlet. “It’s not the usually long, dreary Hamlet.”
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.
“It teaches them self discipline, teamwork and an appreciation of dramatic literature,” said Peggy Boring, a teacher at the school and director of the play.
The “very loose” adaptation of “Hamlet” will be performed April 27 at the Lincoln Cultural Center for Lincoln Charter students and their families.
It is being performed alongside “The Last Flapper,” a one-woman show about Zelda Fitzgerald starring Mary Williams. Boring directs both productions.
“It’s a companion show to ‘Zelda,’” Boring said of “Hamlet.” “I wanted it to be something that would have some substance to it.”
And while “Hamlet” 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.
“We have no budget and no resources to speak of, and this was easier than Elizabethan costumes and much more creative,” Boring said.
Evan Tabor, 16, was happy his costume was more traditional than most.
“I think I look cool in it because I have a big sword and a cape – which makes everything cooler,” he said.
Denny Sabo, a history teacher at the school, performs as the ringmaster, better known as Shakespeare himself.
“It’s a great experience,” he says of the show.
He hopes performing in a Shakespearean play will encourage students to do more theater.
“I tell all my students if you have a chance to get involved do it,” he said.
Especially if it’s Shakespeare.
“I think there’s a certain mystique or mystery, a certain romance involved in his plays,” he said. “He writes about life in a very passionate way – romance and anger and vengeance.”
Some of the fifth-grade students have a different opinion of the playwright.
When asked if she understood Shakespeare, Taylor Helms said “Kind of. Yeah. A little.”
Ashley Helms, 11, said, “It’s hard to understand most of it.”
That said, other students have developed a new appreciation for the bard.
“‘Hamlet’ is pretty all right,” said Albert Cortes, 16.
Jason Richey, 16, agrees.
“I never realized it until I started this,” he said.
by Sarah Grano

You must be logged in to post a comment Login