“Hamlet” comes to LP in student-directed performance

Riley Ellison, Staff Writer

This year, Lake Park took on one of Shakespeare’s most famous pieces, Hamlet, and performed it for everyone to enjoy. On April 16, people were delighted to see a student-directed and reimagining of this classic story.

This show was directed by Jesslyn Cohen, and comments on her inspiration to produce her own performance of the play, “I was rereading the nunnery scene from Hamlet when I envisioned multiple people playing Hamlet. The idea bloomed into a forty minute production of six scenes and introductory material of Hamlet”.

Cohen said, “I chose Hamlet because we studied it in AP Literature and I was frustrated that we couldn’t really go over how it would be acted out because it’s not an acting class— it’s a literature class.”

With an excited cast to work with, Alexandra Burkhart, who played Ophelia, describes the experience glowingly.

I loved getting closer to all the kids in the show as well as all the inside jokes,” Cohen said. “My favorite parts of working on the play with the cast were the soliloquies. I worked independently with the three actors who had soliloquies, which are like monologues, and we would apply this method called Folio Technique. We would work on inflection and then we’d add action to the soliloquy to match the emotions and to make it visually interesting.”

While everyone gave their full efforts, the show still had a few minor bumps in the road, especially as this is one of the first times Lake Park has put on a performance like this. Also, as Cohen was the only director, she faced obstacles in making the show as best as possible.

The biggest challenge was probably acting as not only director but also stage manager,” she said. “I have a huge appreciation for what stage managers do now because of the huge amount of work I was faced with writing down the blocking on pictures of the stage and trying to stay on top of the script at the same time”.

Cast members also faced some difficulties.

I had difficulties with the Shakespearean language,” Burkhardt said.

Cohen added, “My cast was amazing. I am so proud of the work they put in, especially taking on the Shakespearean language and venturing into the unknown through this production with me.”