“Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark”

The cast of “Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark” mourns the dead Ophelia (Melissa Russell) as Laertes (Vander Ritchie) sobs over her corpse. Standing, from left, are Horatio (Rebecca Russell), Osric (Lexi Gage), Bernardo (Alissa Hesselton), Gertrude (Jessie Rollins), Claudius (Michael Jacobi) and the priest (Maya Vallevova).

“Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark,” moves to the roaring 1920s in the Salida High School drama team’s performance of the classic Shakespearean play at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Salida High School auditorium.

The show, directed by Devon Kasper and Caitlin Schleicher, is an abbreviated production, approximately 50 minutes long, and features a talented cast who do an excellent job in memorizing and reciting complicated lines. This is not your usual high school play.

“We haven’t included all the scenes from ‘Hamlet,’ but we think we’ve made a good selection,” Kasper said. “We made this play a little shorter than usual because of a busy school schedule, and rehearsal time was lost because of a conflict in scheduling the auditorium.”

The choice of “Hamlet” also raises the bar as a challenge for these talented students. They will take this one act to Denver in December to be performed and adjudicated at the annual Colorado Theatre Conference.

Among the highlights of “Hamlet” are the opening “Roaring ’20s” dance choreographed by Kasper and the duel to the death with foils at the end, choreographed by Tina Gramann.

Several cast members play multiple roles. The cast includes Matthew Jacobi as Hamlet; Michael Jacobi as Claudius, king of Denmark; Jessie Rollins as Gertrude, queen of Denmark and mother of Hamlet; Maya Vallevona as Polonius, the priest and the gentlewoman; Rebecca Russell as Horatio; Vander Ritchie as Laertes, Francisco and Guildenstern; Melissa Russell as Ophelia and Marcellius; Alicia Hesselton as Bernardo and Rozencrantz; and Lexi Gage as the ghost of Hamlet’s father and Osric.

Tickets cost $5 for adults and $4 for students.

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