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High-schoolers put modern twist on Shakespeare

Posted: May 1, 2012 - 6:52pm  |  Updated: May 9, 2012 - 9:57am
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North Augusta High School AP language and compostion students Kole Fisher (from left), AJ Pryor, Bailie Sparks and Chris Armstrong perform Hamlet.  JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
North Augusta High School AP language and compostion students Kole Fisher (from left), AJ Pryor, Bailie Sparks and Chris Armstrong perform Hamlet.

 

Students at North Augusta High School learned that William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark can be applied to real life as they studied the play.

“People go through messed-up things in their life,” said Ariana Williams.

The junior, who played “crazy” Ophelia in front of classmates April 25 as part of a project for AP language and composition, said she learned not to judge someone by how they look or act.

“You never know what’s going on in their head,” she said.

Ariana said it was her first play performance and she thought it was a lot of fun. She enjoyed watching her classmates come together and produce a play.

Eric Clubb, 17, who was a director for one of the four groups, said the experience was enjoyable.

He made sure lights were working and that everyone had their cues, but he said everyone did a good job with remembering their lines.

“We all work well under pressure,” he said.

Teacher Chris Emerling said he has students study the play simply because it is “one of the greatest things written in English ever.”

Students can read a play, but having to act it out really makes them learn it, he said. Emerling said students had to cut lines for time reasons so it really made them have to understand the significance behind each line to be able to incorporate the most important information into the play.

“They will be able to recite these lines for years,” he said.

The show was held in the auditorium and classes were invited to come watch the students perform.

Emerling said he expected maybe 250 to show throughout the daylong event, but actually had more than 1,500 come to see the show.

Emerling said he is proud of his students for taking a blank stage and building the play from scratch.

“They did outstanding so they will get an excellent grade,” he said.

 

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