Students from Parkland’s acting 11-12 class will show two public performances that touch on topical modern themes. The two one-act plays, Hamlette and Censorbleep, are directed by and star Grade 11 and 12 students.
“It’s been a challenge, but also a lot of fun directing Hamlette,” Grade 12 student Ryan O’Keefe said. “It’s not always easy keeping everyone focused, but we’ve pulled it together for the show and it’s a really hilarious play.”
Hamlette, written by Allison Williams, is a re-interpretation of the classic Shakespearean play with a female in the lead role.
Played by Madison Gordon, Hamlette tries to convince the rest of the cast that she is really female, but the others aren’t going along for the ride.
“This role is great, as I get to play comedy but also tragedy,” Gordon said. “People have certain expectations about the character and the play, so it’s fun to try to approach it from a different angle.”
Censorbleep, written by Lindsay Price, deals with the issues of censorship and conformity. It’s a look at how students are pressured into fitting in at school and altering their ideas and personalities.
“It’s a bit more experimental,” said Grade 11 student Kiera Karlenzig, who plays Mandy, one of the Bleep Bleep girls. “My character has to choose whether she wants to fit in, or to stand up to be the person she wants to be.”
While this is their final public performance for the semester, the class has been busy for the past five months working on character development, improvisation, movement, mime, script exploration, team building and, earlier in the semester, their production of Snow White.
“It’s been a busy and exciting semester,” teacher Joan Saunders said. “I’ve been impressed with how much the class has come together, with how much they have learned and, as well, with how they have always been willing to explore ideas and characters in their scenes. I really find that acting class does bring out the best in people and lets them learn so much about themselves and what they are capable of.”
The showcase starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 12) at the Parkland secondary school theatre, 10640 McDonald Park Rd. Admission is by donation.