Rather than just reading Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” out loud, sophomores in English 10 teacher Cathy Sabol’s class are going a step further by acting out the class play.
“If [a student is] a visual learner, then they are getting to see the action rather than just reading [the play itself]” Sabol said.
The class performed and read “Act 5” from the play. Students were allowed to choose between seven characters to play: Hamlet, Laertes, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Fortinbras, Courtier and Horatio.
“[I chose this part] because everyone dies; actually, actors love death scenes and I wanted to give [the students] a chance to do that,” Sabol said. “It also helps students visualize during this important scene of the play.”
Before performing in front of the class, students who chose a role skimmed through the play to gain an understanding of the scene and character background.
“At first I thought that it was a little weird that we would only be performing one act from the play,” sophomore Jessica Wiley said. “After we began reading the play this scene seemed more interesting than the others.”
Some students changed their voices and some exaggerated their movements. The performance lasted around five minutes and classes had an additional performance for those who weren’t able to perform the first time.
“I think that it’s a fun way to see the scene clearer without having to create a mental image,” Wiley said. “It was also really funny to see my classmates perform the play as they saw it because some people changed their voice and had interesting interpretations of the characters.”
Sabol is now helping her students prepare for a test and an essay in regards to the play; the test will cover the characters, settings and the meanings of different quotes.
“I thought that saying the lines would’ve been harder than it was because I’m not used to speaking the way the play is written, but it was actually pretty easy,” sophomore Ariana San Juan said. “The words are close to how we talk now, they just have some extra letters added.”
Would you perform a play in front of your classmates?