After last year’s comedies “Rumors” and “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse,” the drama dept. will present the Shakespeare tragedy, “Hamlet,” Oct. 22-24.
“We have not done a Shakespeare play in our season since I started teaching here,” director Todd Schaefer said, and he welcomed the challenge of producing a complex production.
“Performing Shakespeare is terribly difficult. It’s very rigorous for the actors to do it, and so for the challenging aspect I think it’s definitely worth it,” Schaefer said.
The drama department will not present the full-length, four- hour play, but a cut version to be performed in about an hour- and –a- half. Schaefer originally saw this production at the Black Cat Theater in Maplewood, which was cut by Jason Cannon and his wife. This version cuts out the political aspects of “Hamlet” and pretty much anything not directly related to Hamlet’s revenge plot.
In WGHS’s adaptation, a female plays Hamlet, a casting decision made by Schaefer and drama teacher Sarah Romanowski long before the auditions.
“We needed more opportunities for females to carry the show… and [Hamlet] is definitely a part you can do a gender switch on. We can make it work.”
“This will hopefully be the start of a tradition where we dive into Shakespeare so that our student body who is involved in Shakespeare gets exposure to the Elizabethan dramas,” he said. Schaefer added the drama dept. should produce a Shakespeare at least every eight years, if not four.
“It’s a terribly important part of our theater history,” Schaefer said.
The cast features junior Hannah Leatherbarrow as Hamlet, junior Loren Kahrhoff as Ophelia, senior Kate Arendes as Gertrude, junior Rowan van Horn as Claudius, senior Justin Comegys as Polonius, senior Nick Suber as Horatio, junior Jacob Noce as Laertes, and senior Dylan Martin as Ghost.
Other cast members include sophomore Kate Becker, freshman Joe Castleman, freshman Tea Gardner, senior Annelise Kerr-Grant, junior Bridget Kahrhoff, junior Molly Kurtz, junior Lily Newsham, senior Alec Reeves, senior Jonah Schnell, junior Miles Umbaugh and sophomore Elliot Williams.