MLWGS Hamlet: To See or Not To See (There Is No Question)

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MLWGS Hamlet: To See or Not To See (There Is No Question)

Kate Farmer, News Editor

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Hit by that post-Fall Fest/Homecoming boredom streak? Hungry for a night jam-packed with twists, turns, thrills, and heart-wrenching soliloquies? MLWGS Drama has got you covered. This November 8th to 10th at 7pm, MLWGS Drama will perform their rendition of Hamlet, a moving Shakespearean drama guaranteed to captivate and entertain all members of the Maggie Walker community (not just World Lit teachers!).

Set in the Middle Ages, Hamlet follows the story of the young Prince Hamlet of Denmark in the aftermath of his father’s death. Prince Hamlet is forced to deal with the harsh reality of his uncle Claudius as king and the hasty marriage between Claudius and his mother, Gertrude. In the process of questioning everyone around him, Hamlet begins to unravel certain startling and disturbing truths. Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most renowned plays, and it stands among the most quoted works of all time in the English language.

Although MLWGS Drama has performed this play in previous years through different renditions, taking on such a complex and sophisticated play has been no easy task for this year’s Drama crew. Amarah Ennis (‘19), who will star as King Claudius, described why this year’s performance of Hamlet will stand out: “Hamlet is a huge show. [It is] one of Shakespeare’s biggest, and we’re not getting as much time to work on it due to some scheduling problems with our director, so the pressure’s on for us.” However, she remains optimistic of the group’s potential to overcome these obstacles. “I have total faith that we’ll pull it off,” she affirms, “but it’s gonna be hard, especially for those of us who have larger roles.”

Despite the initial bumps in the road, the cast is as excited as ever to produce their own spin on the Elizabethan classic. The set design team has been hard at work to add new light to the Middle-Ages setting, configuring a completely new look and feel from the previous years’ renditions of Shakespeare. “I’m high-key excruciatingly excited for the show,” gushes Paige Handy (‘20). “The set is crazy beautiful with a cool black and white look that feels really modern and minimalistic.” Concerning the play itself, she adds, “It’s my first time doing Shakespeare in a main stage… it’s really amazing to be able to connect with the millions of people who have done this play before and learn all of Shakespeare’s hidden jokes and metaphors.”

Hamlet not only packs the punch in stellar planning and set design; it also promises a team of experienced and talented thespians. Having survived the competitive audition process, the performers are eager to show off their passion and expertise. This year, Renny McFadin (`20) will be taking on the lead role of Hamlet himself. “I never actually expected to get the role of Hamlet,” she admits, humorously. “It’s very daunting in some ways, taking on such a large role, and I know line memorization is going to be a struggle. But I’m still incredibly stoked to be playing such a well known character!” Referencing her infamous comedic performance of Fergie’s “Fergalicious” in last year’s play, she remarks, “I can’t say I’m doing ‘Fergalicious’ again. But I do have some scenes that I find Hamlet’s mania particularly hilarious in.”

Other lead roles include Bella-Grace Finck (‘21) as Gertrude, Hunter Carlton (‘19) as Laertes, Paige Handy (‘20) as Ophelia, and Corbette Condit-Fox (‘19) as Polonius, who, according to Handy, packs  “a hilarious twist.” Featuring a senior-heavy cast, this year is sure to be a memorable finish for the class of 2019 drama members. “Graduating this year is just gonna be…really sad,” reflects Amarah Ennis. “Drama is definitely a quirky ‘lil family, and I’m gonna miss everyone when I leave, but that’s why we have the spring musical and One-Acts! [At least] we don’t have to think about graduating until those roll around.”

According to the Drama department, ticket prices are yet to be announced, but keep an eye out for incoming Hamlet posters around the school for details. All are welcome to come out and enjoy the show!

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