‘Hamlet’ opens Friday at Parker PAC

‘Hamlet’ opens Friday at Parker PACBy REBECCA NEIPP

News Review Staff Writer

“What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”

— William Shakespeare

More than 400 years after the Bard penned?“Hamlet,” modern audiences are bringing those immortal words to life, proving that some aspects of human nature remain through the ages.

Burroughs High School’s Drama Department will present its take on the story starting tonight at 7 p.m. in the Parker Performing Arts Center.

Shakespeare’s classic play tells the story of the sudden death of the Danish king and Prince Hamlet’s discovery that his mother and uncle have wed.

“Hamlet wrestles with this upheaval of both his physical and metaphysical kingdoms only to end in devastation,” said Director Tristan Kratz, adding that it was difficult to summarize the story without turning it into a master’s thesis.

“I have had a long and complicated relationship with ‘Hamlet’ since I was a teenager,” she wrote in her director’s note.

“At times I think I know and understand him. Then at others, he absolutely baffles, frustrates and confounds me. And yet I think that is precisely one of the reasons I, and so many others, are willing to get involved with this Dane.”

Kratz and her students have adapted the story to modern times by infusing contemporary elements of design into the costumes and sets, as well as by splitting the lead into five roles.

Trinity Benitez, Olivia Holm, David Magunia, Jacob Masner and Jenny Weik will share the pivotal role of Hamlet.

Other cast members include Justin Dela Cruz as Horatio, Tristan Risden as Rosencranz, Aden Mize as Guildenstern, Tyler Gremillion as Laertes, Lilly Johnson as Ophelia, Annthony Smith as Polonius, William Nance as Claudius, Elise Hill as Gertrude and Ashton Hess as the ghost of Hamlet’s father.

The ensemble includes Lettie Miller, Jasmine Pennala, Eliza Faulkenbury, Rhiannon O’Connor, Genevieve Kowalski, Dixie Risden, Ashton Hess, Kelly Goff, Rainie Batzen and Carolyn Black.

“These student actors have demonstrated such genuine intelligence, insight, compassion and courage throughout the rehearsal process to bring life to the complexities of this story,” said Kratz.

“Their relentless curiosity to explore, explain and understand what compels people/characters to behave in the way that they do and examine the full spectrum of possible choices in order to tell Shakespeare’s story as authentically as possible has been inspiring to say the least.”

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Presale tickets are available for $10 each at Red Rock Books and from cast and crew members. Tickets at the door are $12 each.

Subsequent performances will be held Nov. 4, 10 and 11 at the PPAC.

Pictured: Jenny Weik is one of five high-school thespians who will interpret the challenging titular role of “Hamlet.” She and her fellow cast and crew open the show tonight on the Parker Performing Arts Center. -- Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2017-11-03