It was a heartbreaking sight, an empty theatre, on the night of Jan. 27 when the Utah Shakespearean Festival Touring group presented a wonderfully entertaining production of Hamlet at the Virgin Valley High School Theatre with only 10 people in attendance.
Mesquite missed out on a compelling performance which as Janet McDonald said, “Was 80 minutes of Shakespeare that I really enjoyed”. Maggie Calhoun, former GMAF president was “saddened by the lack of audience for the absolutely spectacular performance these actors gave.”
The show was however viewed by over 400 Virgin Valley High School Students which was the main focus of this educational tour.
The actors, who make up a diverse cast of characters played, not one, but many characters throughout the show with the exception of the lead actress, yes actress Allie Babich, who played the part of the troubled Prince of Denmark, Hamlet.
Babich is an actress who hails from Wisconsin. A graduate from the University of Minnesota and of the Guthrie Theatre B.F.A. Actor Training Program Babich has performed Shakespeare in parking lots, bars and at Shakespeare’s Globe in London according to her biography. She was quite the accomplished actor and did very well in the role of Hamlet.
The entire cast was energetic, animated and told their stories very well. They all expressed their delight and joy in working with the high school students who were eager to take some of the workshops offered to them that day. Among them was a class in stage combat which was very popular with the students.
For more information on the Utah Shakespeare Festival contact www.bard.org. The Utah Shakespeare Festival touring group is sponsored in part by National Endowment of the Arts, Mountain West, Ally, Southern Utah University and the Utah State Office of Education.