Sugar Beet staff reporter
The Garden City High School production of Hamlet has been nominated to perform at Nationals. This upcoming summer the GCHS drama department will travel to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln to showcase their talents in Shakespeare’s Hamlet among the best in the country. Garden City High School students received the invitation early January to perform at the International Thespian Festival the week of June 24 to 29. The International Thespian Festival, ITF, holds the event every summer as the Buffaloes will be joining thousands of others at the 56th annual festival this summer. This gathering of all-things-theater is a celebration of student achievement in the arts. The ITF honors the greatest productions performed during the school year around the country throughout thousands of high schools.
“We are so lucky to be supported by our school to make this trip happen. It is a huge honor to be selected,” Barbara Hilt, director, said.
Aside from honoring the top programs in the country every summer, the International Thespian Festival also presents opportunities for students to audition for colleges and scholarships.
“They only select eleven shows a year from the whole nation to perform. They have already selected eight of which we are one of those eight. The remaining three will be selected this second semester and all eleven shows will perform main stage at the festival in front of thousands of theater students from all over the country, coast to coast,” Hilt said.
On June 7 GCHS Drama will be performing a free show for the community for some awareness and support for their production.
“We now have a full rehearsal schedule planned out and we have a couple extra months to prepare for the show. The plan is to change and add a lot to our rehearsals for the performance this summer,” Leorenz Altamirano (Polonius) said.
Between the upcoming spring plays and musicals, the cast of Hamlet hopes to have a bunch of free time to focus on Hamlet for the June performance.
“It is such an amazing honor to be selected to perform at the ITF because no one was really expecting it. We did not get state recognition to be invited to perform at the state festival and so receiving National recognition was just unexpected,” Altamirano said.
The excitement and anticipation has been through the roof ever since Barbara Hilt received the news that Hamlet would be performing at UNL.
“I’m really pumped because last year we qualified, but did not get to go, but this year we get to take Hamlet and it is going to be exciting. Having the opportunity to have a ton of people come watch us is really awesome because we are from Nowhere, U.S.A. and we made it to Nationals, which I’m super pumped about,” Daniel Darter (Horatio) said.
Recently the cast met up to discuss preparations for the show and brainstormed ways for a bunch of different fundraisers to make money to cover some expenses associated with the play.
Garden City High School Drama is also selling Hamlet merchandise to help fund raise for Nationals. They will be selling stickers, short sleeve t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies. Students will be selling apparel or can be purchased by contacting Alice Hilt at email@example.com.