Tempe Prep Seniors Nail Hamlet

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Tempe Prep Seniors Nail Hamlet

By Sanner Bennett

The Tempe Prep senior plays performed in December presented the classic Shakespear tragedy Hamlet, which centers around Prince Hamlet (played by Grace Kolinchack on Wednesday, Jonah Gagliardi on Thursday and Tamsin Hurlbut on Friday), whose father, the king of Denmark, has just died. 

Each night of the performance was done by a different period of the senior class. The set that was used for the play, as you might have seen in the auditorium in the days leading up to the show, was a large silver staircase that led to a raised platform. Throughout the performance benches were moved around to serve various purposes, ranging from seats to a grave. 

Near the beginning of the play, Hamlet sees the ghost of his deceased father in the night. The TPA seniors quite effectively pulled off this scene by making all the lights over the stage a dark blue color and playing chilling music while the actor (Alejandro Reyes on Wednesday, Jay Nergard on Thursday and Noah Quiros on Friday) playing the ghost slowly walked across the back of the stage. When you finally hear the character speak, he does it through a small microphone that is attached to the speakers, giving his voice an otherworldly quality. 

The production also added several modernizations to the play, such as having Hamlet use a gun instead of a sword and check his phone at multiple points throughout the play. Additionally, in one scene a man digs a grave while listening to “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John through his headphones.

Every time Hamlet delivered a soliloquy  – including the famous “to be or not to be” speech – several other actors would stand behind the character  and each give a small part of the monologue. This was done so that the person playing Hamlet wouldn’t have to learn quite so many lines.

In the last scene of the play, Hamlet has a sword fight with Laertes (played by Tevin Nguyen on Wednesday and Borislava Panayotova on Thursday and Friday) because he killed Laertes’ father (mother on Wednesday) by mistake. The scene was very exciting and the students playing the roles did not stumble, pulling off the fight without a hitch.

The entire play, despite a few forgotten lines here and there, was performed very well and was interesting to see. Shakespeare really is so much more interesting to watch, especially in person, than to read.

Article by Sanner Bennett, a student staff writer for De Equitibus, Tempe Preparatory Academy’s student newspaper.

Tempe Prep is currently accepting applications for Fall 2024.

About Tempe Prep: Tempe Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free public charter school in Tempe for students in grades 6-12 that provides a nationally acclaimed liberal arts education based on the Great Books of Western Civilization with an exceptional math, science, foreign language, humanities, and fine arts curriculum. Tempe Prep has been recognized by the Arizona Board of Regents as having the highest percentage of college graduates in the state and has been named the #1 high school in Arizona by Newsweek (America’s Top High Schools 2016).

Over half of Tempe Prep’s graduates pursue majors and careers in engineering and STEM fields. Tempe Prep’s Class of 2021 students received over $16.5 million in scholarship offers and TPA graduates attend undergraduate and graduate school programs all over the country, including Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business, Dartmouth, UCLA, Boston University, Northwestern University, and all of the Arizona universities and their Honors Colleges.

For more information about enrolling at Tempe Prep, visit the school’s website at tempeprep.org.

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