Summer Shakespeare Theatre will present the Bard’s most popular tragedy, HAMLET, July 20th – 30th in the Appleton North High School auditorium, 5000 North Ballard Road. This marks the eighteenth year of the program sponsored by the Fox Valley Summer School Consortium. A cast and crew of over 30 students from area high schools have spent six weeks learning about Shakespeare and the theatre of the Renaissance while preparing a play for public performance. Appleton North High School theatre instructor, Ron Parker, began the program in the Fox Valley after founding and directing a similar program in Kenosha for 13 years. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for students interested in theatre to study and perform the work of the greatest playwright in the English language. In addition, students from various schools in the area have a chance to meet and work together. Our previous season’s productions have been very well received. We look forward to even better things in the future.”
Audiences who attend this summer’s performances of HAMLET will be treated to a 24 foot rotating stage, an original musical score by London composer Jay Chakravorty, spectacular swordplay, and a variety of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters. In addition, one of the student actors will portray Shakespeare himself and will provide pre-play commentary as well as mingle with audience members during the show.
First performed over 400 years ago, HAMLET has been called the “greatest play ever written in the English language” and has enjoyed a long history of stage and screen adaptations. One of the most popular plays in the Shakespeare canon, Hamlet explores the dilemmas facing the prince of Denmark when he learns his father, the king, was murdered by his new stepfather. Whether to end the new king’s life, or even his own, are decisions that face the vacillating prince who, in his famous soliloquy, questions whether “To be or not to be.” Among the unique aspects in Summer Shakespeare Theatre’s production is the use of a “Chorus of Conscience,” a group of actors who represent the mind of Hamlet and several other characters and who speak their thoughts when they are alone on stage. “HAMLET is often considered by professional actors to be the epitome of their theatrical experience,” stated Parker. “It is so complex and has so many layers. More has been written over the centuries about this play, its characters, and themes than any other dramatic work ever conceived. It has been said that each of us carries a bit of Hamlet inside of us. Preparing and performing this great work is quite a challenge, but the students are excited about meeting that challenge and creating a production that does credit to its long and impressive history.”
Performance times are 7:00 P.M. on July 20th, 21st, 22nd, 27th, 28th, and 29th and 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, July 23rd and 30th. Admission is $10.00. Tickets can be purchased at the door one hour before performance time. All seats are general admission. Further information can be found by contacting Ron Parker, director at 707-0487, by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org