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Wiess Tabletop to perform ‘Hello, Hamlet!’ this weekend

Bryan Mendoza / Thresher

By Chiara Moretti     4/9/24 11:42pm

The Wiess Tabletop performance, “Hello, Hamlet!” is returning to Wiess College commons this weekend after four years. The show, according to members of the cast and crew, is a comedic parody of the original Shakespeare production. There will be three performances from April 12 to 14, each starting at 7:30 p.m. and free for all students and alumni. 

“Hello, Hamlet!” is performed every four years and has been running for over 50 years. This year, the show aims to create a stark contrast between Shakespeare and modern-day references, according to director Alayne Ziglin. 

“We have some [characters] that are more plucked straight out of a Shakespeare show [and] some that are a little more modern,” Ziglin said. “You’ll see characters who are wearing Shakespearean outfits, but then they’ll have modern elements like sneakers or headphones.”

With over 20 musical numbers from popular Broadway musicals, such as “Mean Girls” and “Hairspray,” the show is meant to be a dramatic comedy, according to co-stage manager Cece Gonzalez. The abundance of cultural references will allow anyone in the audience to connect with the characters in some way, she said. 

“Pretty much every scene has jokes in it [and] a light-hearted kind of energy … even in the scenes that are a little bit more dark,” Gonzalez, a Baker College freshman, said. “‘Hello, Hamlet!’ is making a comedy out of a tragedy.”

The comedic elements of the show are emphasized through acting, especially through characters like Horatio. In contrast with past renditions of “Hello, Hamlet!” Wiess Tabletop’s version of the character was written as female. Played by Paola Hoffman, Horatio is in love with Hamlet and “will do anything” to win his favor, she said. 

“I don’t wanna spoil it, but there’s definitely a great moment at the end of the show where Horatio realizes how much of a hole she dug herself into — both literally and metaphorically,” Hoffmann, a Sid Richardson College sophomore, said. 

The writers of the show also contributed to the production’s comedic elements, according to McKenna Tanner, the lead writer for the production. Having also participated in the show in the fall of 2020, she said that it has a special place in her heart and is excited to contribute this year as both a writer and an actor. 

“Every time there is a laugh at something that [the writers] wrote, we’re just really rooting for the cast because they’re doing so well,” Tanner, a Hanszen College senior, said. 

Auggie Schwarz, who plays Hamlet, said the show gives the performers an outlet to express themselves creatively. 

“I have a lot of fun on stage, just being goofy and getting to really ham it up ... I have fun doing all the singing and the acting, and I work with wonderful people,” Schwarz, a Lovett College sophomore, said. 

Every aspect of “Hello, Hamlet!”, including directing, acting and technical, is student-run. This enables the crew to work as equals and share their own ideas, according to Gonzalez. 

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