‘To be, or not to be: that is the question’

Falcons put modernized twist on Shakespeare’s Hamlet



All of the Hamlet actors gathered on stage for a mic check. The cast went onto the stage, costume and all, to do a final check of the mics to make sure they were all working in preparation for the show.

Katie Giebelstein, Reporter

This winter West is showing a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from Dec. 6-8. Hamlet is a show about the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet, who seeks out vengeance for his father’s death while also slowly slipping into insanity due to over-contemplating life and death.

The cast is provided a preview of the show Friday Dec. 6 during fourth block. Students were welcomed to pay $3 for tickets and whole classes going paid $1 per attendee. The cast put a lot of work into the show this year, with stage design taking many hours, according to sophomore Gabriella Johnson who plays Rosie in the play.

“I’m excited for the set and light design because we worked hard on it and it has advanced from last year’s play,” Johnson said.

Johnson works alongside a full cast made up of many different people from different grade levels. For most people in that cast, the ending is what they’re most excited for, though for senior Arrisa Constantino, the ending hits differently.

“I’m more sad for the end… because this is my last fall play,” Constantino said.

Constantino had started theater her freshman year and joined every production, but this year she’s a senior finishing up her high school theater career.

“I was the only freshman who got a call back. Only 20 of us got called back, only 10 of them were girls,” Constantino said. “I grew up on that stage.”

It’s not all bad for her though, as she is getting to experience some firsts in her theater career alongside her friend junior Renee Casad, who plays Hamlet. 

“This is my first time sword fighting, ever, and it’s so hard to do because me and Renee love each other. Andy had to tell us to redo a scene a few times because he said he didn’t believe we hated each other,” Constantino said.

Theater has opened up new paths and friendships for Constantino and others in her position. 

“Being in theater changes you,” Constantino said.

Theater is an important part for many of the cast’s lives. They work hard to achieve the parts they get and to perform a promising performance.

“We go to rehearsal everyday, and I don’t know if anyone else does this, but I go home and I’ll record myself saying my lines and other people’s lines so I know what to say,” junior Tony Nguyen said. 

This adds onto some stress for the final performance and how the audience will react, along with the fear of forgetting lines. The cast holds strong though and looks forward for the reaction to certain scenes in the show, the majority looking forward to the final scene. 

“It’s interesting for the end with how it’s built up. The whole thing is just a huge ongoing story,” senior Aaron Murphy said. 

For junior Masei Geigle, however, her favorite scene is different from the end. 

“My favorite is probably the one I have with Tony and Arrisa. We play off of each other really well. It also brings out both sides of my character, “ Giegle said. “Also the scene when I’m talking to the Queen and King because I make a lot of random noises and it brings me out of my comfort zone.”

The cast is very proud of how far the production has come, especially Casad, who also shares some nerves despite her playing the lead. 

“I’m stressed and excited at the same time,” Casad said. “Everyone’s worked so hard. I’m proud of how far its come.” 

Casad has been been in every production she could be, now playing lead in Hamlet. The play opens Friday at 7 p.m. and the cast is excited for people to come and see the show. 

“I’m excited for the show overall, it has a great story and I hope that people enjoy it,” Johnson said.