In three separate performances Monday, Nov. 21, a recreation of William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet was presented to students from grades six through 12. This production was presented by the performing arts center, Asolo Repertory Theatre, and their Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training with students attending Florida State University’s Fine Arts program playing roles in the play.
Being that this year marks the 400th anniversary since Shakespeare’s death, this freshly re-imagined look at his written play has introduced the next generation with a further examination of the masterpiece. Taking place during periods two, four and six, this 45-minute adaptation of the original Hamlet offers modern twists and a different look on Shakespeare’s play.
The production is professionally staged with a cast of 11 but designed with minimal technical requirements so it can perform in a variety of venues. In less than an hour, the actors presented a fast-paced performance, immediately followed by a post-show discussion with the cast. Educational resources, including a production guide and video resources for classrooms, address Florida and Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.
Asolo’s version of Hamlet was adapted by Justin Lucero, director of the production. The performance is meant to reach schools and colleges alike, introducing a different viewpoint of the masterpiece. It is recommended for younger children, sometimes seen to introduce Shakespeare’s complex satire and style of writing.
“It was helpful seeing a Shakespeare play being performed before my own eyes, especially since I’ll read his writing more in the future,” eighth-grader Noelle Bencie said, “I would definitely see another one of [Asolo Repertory Theatre’s] well put-together plays.”