AP Lit goes on field trip to see Hamlet


Seth Cohen

On Tuesday, February 28, Jennifer Patel took her two AP Lit classes to the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC to see Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy play Hamlet.  The students took the metro downtown and were treated to professional acting live in person. Michael Urie, who starred as Hamlet has quite a bit of acting experience. He’s made appearances in Buyer & Cellar, Ugly Betty, Modern Family, etc. Under director Michael Kahn, the two come together to give life to one of the most polarizing and talked about characters in literature.

Patel put the field trip together quickly and had it organized so that her students would be able to have an opportunity to see this play while it was in town.

“This was a chance to see what it’s like for a play to come to life,” Patel said, “I don’t want the students to think this class is only work. Literature is beautiful and fun. Hopefully they will feel more encouraged to do this on their own time.”

It seems that Patel’s intentions were answered. After the show, several students shared their thoughts about the play and what they took from their experience. One of those students was senior Patrick Quinn.

“I enjoyed the play, I think I will definitely appreciate reading Shakespeare moving forward after seeing this play,” Quinn expressed.

After the play there was a Q & A with the cast. Many of the actors including Michael Urie (Hamlet), Alan Cox (Claudius), Madeleine Potter (Gertrude), Robert Joy (Polonius) were there to answer questions that students had. Many of the cast members had several things in common. Several had acted in high school and had gone to school in New York for theater and acting.

“It’s a fun privilege to be able to act as this guy who seems to have fallen in madness, but really knows what he’s doing all along,” Urie said when asked about playing the role of Hamlet.

“He has this inner struggle as to whether or not he can really go through with this and kill his father,” he elaborated.  

Patel hopes that the idea of a field trip will bring joy to classes.

“The two can mix, school and fun. It helps bring a class closer together as well as brings excitement to what can be seen as a chore,” Patel shared.

Patel was very excited to see that this field trip went well and hopes that more can occur in the future.