Tyrone Students Update Shakespeare in Film

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Shakespeare has been a part of the high school English curriculum for as long as anyone can remember, and while the themes and lessons in his sonnets and plays are timeless, keeping the Bard relevant to teenagers is a constant challenge for every high school English teacher. 

About 10 years ago, Tyrone English teacher Kathy Beigle and her students came up with a project to make the “old-timer” a little bit more fun.

Beigle challenged her students to create short films and artwork to bring Shakespeare’s Hamlet to life. As an alternative to a traditional essay, students were given the option to produce a 4-6 minute video of a particular act and scene, including a two-page analysis of the scene from each cast member.

According to Beigle, the project went well again this year.

It was great. I know students put a lot of time and energy into their reenactments, and I love knowing that they actually enjoy doing this”

— Mrs. Kathy Beigle

“It was great. I know students put a lot of time and energy into their reenactments, and I love knowing that they actually enjoy doing this,” said Beigle about the short film her students made.

Because her honors class is much smaller than most years, only one group of students took on the challenge to produce a video.

The students involved in the video were Jack Lewis, Nick Kosko, Reed Keller, Andrew Pearson, and Isaac Woomer. They assigned themselves each a role and filmed at the Reservoir Park basketball court.

Nick Kosko was Hamlet, Isaac Woomer portrayed Laertes, Jack Lewis was Gertrude and Claudius, Andrew Pearson was Horatio, and Reed Keller was “the guy behind the camera.”

The boys all reported having a good time producing the film.

“Great crew, intense scenes. It brought me to tears at multiple points during the filming. Shakespeare would be proud,” said Lewis.

Of course, some adaptations had to be made to accommodate modern times and laws.

“Ranch dressing is the modern wine, and pick up Rez-ball is the new sword fighting,” said Woomer.

The remainder of students in the honors class chose to write the essay instead of filming an act from the play.

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