To trip or not to trip


photo by Orlando Shakes

The Hamlet production cover at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater

On March 5 and March 7,  the English department took seniors to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater to watch Hamlet. Seniors covered Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the 3rd quarter, and the play served as a way to allow students to see a visual representation of what they read.

“It gave me a different outlook on the emotions of the characters, and helped me make a connection with the novel itself,” senior Nancy Chen said.

Hamlet is a story about the death of King Hamlet, whose ghost tells his son to avenge his death, because he was actually murdered. His son goes and investigates the scenarios that surround these circumstances, going through self-doubt, and madness. Scenes that were originally in the play were cut from the production to create a condensed version, but that did not hinder students’ experience of the show.

“The set was really cool looking and it really put you in the feel of the show. The theater was more like an arena, so all the seats surrounded the stage,” senior Ryan Leon said.

English teacher Krista Darling was in charge of organizing the field trip. She wanted to look for performances in the area that would relate to their current curriculum, and found out that the Orlando Shakespeare Theater had daytime field trips for students to watch Hamlet.

“I called in June to set up the dates to go, but evidently, by the time I called, the daytime trips to the theater were almost completely booked, so we had to go on two different days,” Darling said. “Without the help of other teachers, especially Mrs. McGowan, I would not have been able to pull it off.”

On Tuesday, while students enjoyed the chance to get out of school , they did not have the opportunity to visit other places due to the weather. However, students who went on Thursday, enjoyed a picnic by the pond as planned.

Although the picnic was enjoyable, the main focus of the trip was to see the production and understand the context of the play itself.

“I wanted to see the play so I could actually see what was happening in the book and put action to words… Shakespeare is meant to be acted out and not just read,” Leon said. “I love seeing actors get so into the moment and their characters that they are completely engulfed in their performance.”

After the performance was over, students had some time to ask the actors questions. An interesting thing that students found out that the the actor that played Hamlet is Lupita Nyong’o’s younger brother.

The Orlando Shakespeare Theater is showing Hamlet until March 24, and tickets are from $35 to $55. Darling also plans to take next year’s senior class to see Macbeth.