Discover Florida hosted a free event for Florida Southern that brought students to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater on Feb. 7. There, students had the opportunity to watch the theater’s high-caliber production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Registration for the trip began in January, with the event quickly selling out of spots. Students could register through Discover Florida or the Engage website. Transportation was also provided for all Florida Southern students, giving many an added incentive to attend.
“I saw the Hounds of Baskerville and Twelfth Night, both of which I really enjoyed,” sophomore Jordan Reed said. “I’ll admit I have pretty high expectations for [the] performance, but from what I’ve seen before, the theater should go above and beyond.”
Reed has previously been to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater with the school.
The Orlando Shakespeare Theater, also known as the Orlando Shakes Company, was founded in 1989, yet it continues to provide guests with high-quality performances to this day. The theater is widely known across Florida for its showcases of William Shakespeare’s most famous works. However, it has also been home to productions such as “West Side Story,” “Monty Python’s SPAMALOT” and “Peter and the Starcatcher.”
“I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about the Orlando Shakes Company,” junior Tom Horton said. “Hamlet is also one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, so that just adds to my excitement.”
Horton had never before attended one of the Orlando Shakespeare Theater trips before.
The Orlando Shakespeare Theater does not just focus on professional performances. The company’s educational department offers school workshops, field trips, acting classes, and summer camps for everyone from elementary students to high school performers. The theater also offers workshops for young children and teenagers, which range from activities such as interactive plot summaries of plays to creative Mad Libs to help with speech skills.
After the performance on Thursday night, Reed had only positive reviews of the event.
“The actors, especially the one who played Hamlet, did an amazing job of portraying the characters and really highlighting their characters’ personalities,” Reed said. “The length of the show didn’t even negatively affect it; it was so well-done you barely noticed how much time was passing.”
The sophomore also had advice for any students who might be skeptical about going to the Orlando Shakes Company.
“To people who haven’t attended a performance there, I’d say go see one,” Reed said. “The theater is very impressive, and the actors are so skilled; you’re immediately drawn into the story and on the edge of your seat the whole time.”
For those who feel that they have missed out on the opportunity to see Hamlet, there is no need to worry. The Orlando Shakespeare Theater Company will be performing this particular classic from now until March 24, along with Gertrude and Claudius, its prequel, which attendees can enjoy from Feb. 20 through March 23.