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Not Your Father’s 'Hamlet' at Westfield

Tragedy, romance, passion, deceit, revenge ... techno music? Where can you find all of these elements packed into one emotionally charged night of entertainment? In Westfield High School’s production of William Shakespeare’s "Hamlet," set for Nov. 22, 23, and 24 in the Westfield High School auditorium.

How does the techno music factor into a play that is traditionally set in Denmark in the Elizabethan era? Simple, director Scott D. Pafumi has a unique vision that will set the play in a modern setting, the 1990s, an era where the techno dance club was at its height of popularity, affecting most youth in their fashion and cultural choices. Along the way, there will be a touch of the classic Renaissance flavor, complete with the culminating sword fight between Hamlet and Laertes. A cappella madrigals will fill the halls with music appropriate to the play’s drama.

Hamlet is the story of a young man who, while away at college, learns that his father has died. When he returns, he is told by the ghost of his father that his Uncle Claudius killed his father. Not only that, but the wicked Claudius has become romantically entwined with Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother and the former queen. The plot focuses on Hamlet’s response, both physically and emotionally, to these hideous truths.

Pafumi is excited about presenting this masterpiece to the public: "It is ironic that in this play’s infamy, many shy away from truly performing the story in its entirety." Pafumi looks forward to using this play not only as a performance piece but also as a teaching tool, not only for the actors involved, but also for the community.

"Hamlet" features a cast of 40 high school thespians including Brent Biondo as Hamlet, Derek Rommel as Claudius, Ashley Ford as Ophelia, and Kylene Short as Gertrude.

The play will be performed at the Westfield High School auditorium on Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m. Call 703-488-6430 for tickets.