Utah Shakespeare Festival bringing free performance of ‘Hamlet’ to Ogden

Friday , March 18, 2016 - 5:00 AM

By RACHEL J. TROTTER
Standard-Examiner correspondent

OGDEN — The Ogden community will get a taste of the Utah Shakespeare Festival next week when its traveling troupe performs “Hamlet” on March 23.

Admission to the show will be free thanks to the Ogden School Foundation and its sponsors, Weber County RAMP, Suzanne Lindquist, Weber State University Stewart Library and Ogden High School.

Janis Vause, director of the Ogden School Foundation, said hosting the free Shakespeare event each spring has become a beloved tradition in the community.

“We decided several years ago to expand the programs we offer for students and the community, and we were able to get these quality actors,” Vause said.

The traveling actors will spend the day with students from Ogden High School and Ben Lomond High School with various acting workshops. “It’s really way cool for our students to be around these type of professional actors. It’s just a great enhancement,” Vause said. The troupe will also perform for the students on stage during the day as well.


PREVIEW

• WHAT: Utah Shakespeare Festival’s “Hamlet”

• WHEN: 7 p.m. March 23

•WHERE: Ogden High School Auditorium, 2828 Harrison Blvd., Ogden

• ADMISSION: Free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.


She noted that students at Ogden High School have been focusing a lot of their attention on Shakespeare the last few weeks in their studies, having just performed “Much Ado About Nothing” for the public and some other spin-off Shakespeare plays for their region and state competitions.

Vause also enjoys the fact that the whole community can come and partake in a free Shakespeare performance that night. “We will have hundreds of students during the day and then 500 or 600 more that night that will be able to see Shakespeare,” she said.

She expects “Hamlet” to be a popular one. “Hamlet,” a well-known Shakespearen tragedy, follows the story of Prince Hamlet, who seeks revenge upon his uncle, Claudius, after he murders Hamlet’s father, the king, and seizes the throne. Hamlet’s father’s ghost also plays a role in the story to wreak havoc with Claudius, as well as Hamlet’s mother, the queen.

“It’s a really neat thing for people to be able to see Shakespeare, and one of his most popular plays at that, at one of the most beautiful venues in the state,” Vause said.

Plus, the venue was paid for by donations from the community and generous donations from RAMP, which also helps sponsor this event, she said.

“Many of our students would never get this opportunity otherwise,” she added. “The quality of the performance and the shows is always outstanding.”

Audiences are encouraged to arrive early, as is it expected to be a popular show. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, at Ogden High School, 2828 Harrison Blvd.

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