A tragedy can be funny
Youngsters spin Shakespeare tragedy into 15-minute comedy
Lovers of Shakespeare’s art have a chance to catch a condensed and light-hearted version of his tragedy, “Hamlet,” in various public, outdoor spaces in Summerside over the next few weeks.
Throughout the rest of August and September, Milos Simlculet will direct 15-minute “Hamlet” performances for the public to savour, all in support of Spotlight School of Arts Inc.
The public performances of “Hamlet” will take place on Spinnakers’ Landing and various public parks around Summerside.
More information is available at www.spotlightschoolofarts. com
Spotlight is a not-for-profit drama school, located on Water Street in Summerside, that offers theatre arts programs in acting, musical theatre, dance, improvisation and visual arts.
“I’m hoping that these short performances can help raise money for all the rehearsal space that is rented by the Spotlight Players,” explained Simlculet, who is just 13 years old. “We have a large red bucket … where people can donate.”
This version of “Hamlet,” adapted by Tom Stoppard, is condensed into 10 scenes and turns a dramatic tragedy into a comedy.
“The main plot is still the same,” noted Simlculet. “Audiences can expect to see two puppets and all the comedy parts of ‘Hamlet.’ ”
Sam Edgcomb, 15, will play the main character, Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark.
“I try to find a rhythm when rehearsing lines, like how you remember a song – you keep the beat going,” said Edgcomb, who hopes the doors of acting will open as a full-time career for him.
“One of my favourite things to do when rehearsing is saying our lines at super speed, so you basically have to shut your mind down and go into autopilot. And it becomes easy after a while, and just flows like secondary thought.”
Reasha Walsh, the executive director of Spotlight School of Arts Inc., says the school has started a new community theatre program designed to encourage directors and community theatre artists to do their own projects, while the drama school produces them.
“Milos came to me several months ago with a proposal for a short performance, so we are providing the rehearsal space for him and we do all the bookings. This enables Milos to direct and cast this play. And the new program enables him – and anyone else – to do this in the community,” she said.
“We can provide rehearsal space, costume sets, book theatres and performances. And this is open to all age groups.”
Sam Edgcomb, left, is Hamlet in the 15-minute productions that will take place around Summerside as part of the new program by the Spotlight School of Arts Inc. He holds Yorick’s skull that serves as a symbol of death – an omen to come – for a key scene in the performance. Milos Simlculet, on the right, is the director of the “Hamlet” play.