For the first time on the Centennial Middle School (CMS) stage, students will perform a play by Shakespeare.
Sixty students will put on “Hamlet” Dec. 4-8 in the CMS Performing Arts Center. The show is co-directed by Laurie Tangren and Kara Mundale. Dave Mundale is the set director and Eric Webster is the technical director.
“We chose it because we found it funny. It’s not easy to make a Shakespearean tragedy funny,” explained Mundale. “This show has a large number of kids involved. It’s also funny in unusual ways. It is a modern comedic twist on Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet.’”
Eighth-grader Rowan Shawn plays the role of Laertes, the son of Polonius and the brother of Ophelia. This is the second year Shawn has participated in the CMS fall play. He wanted to do this year’s production because he said all of the people are nice and he enjoys acting.
“This show is funny. Everyone is a really good actor. The characters were cast really well and really fit everyone’s personalities,” Shawn explained. “Personally, I read ‘Hamlet’ in language arts and it was pretty boring. This is a good take on Hamlet because you get to see the story told in a fun way.”
The biggest challenge in preparing for the production, Mundale said, has been struggling with the language of Shakespeare. “They conquered it in the end,” she said.
Eighth-grader Victoria Matteson plays the role of Ophelia, Hamlet’s girlfriend and Laertes’ sister. Matteson has been involved in CMS productions since the sixth grade. Two years ago, she served as the student director and last year she had a role onstage.
She has really enjoyed seeing peoples’ surprised faces when she tells them that middle school students are performing “Hamlet.”
“I like that that it’s a play on something usually really horrific, but it is more fun,” she said. “It is fun to do, and we can re-enact this great work of art, but as something more modern. It is a blast. Everyone onstage has great energy and we all have fun. That carries over to the audience when they are watching. They get to have fun.”
Mudale said, “As always, we are proud of the commitment to the arts and talent our young actors share on the middle school stage.”
Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or email@example.com.