Always ready to do the next new thing, B4 Youth Theater, composed of Liberian music, dance, drama students and stage play performers, will be hosting Shakespeare’s Globe Theater of London’s Hamlet on March 7, 2016.
The Shakespeare Globe Theater of London, a handful of travelling players, is known all over the world as the premiere classical theater performance group. It was begun by William Shakespeare in the 1500s. This is part of a two year tour that has reached more than 200 countries since 2014.
Lasting only two-and-a-half hours and touring every country in the world over two years, a handful of travelling players will perform a raw, thrillingly elemental production of this inexhaustible play. If you miss this one, you will regret. Nothing like this has come to Liberia for long. These actors have been in almost every country and they are not thinking on that past Ebola business, and will be in Liberia.
It is a world-class event which will help introduce and endear millions of people to Shakespeare, to classical literature and the performing arts in general, and notably to Hamlet.
“All the people of Liberia should be there. The students should come to see Shakespeare, knowing about the Shakespeare play Hamlet is good for Liberia,” stated B4 Youth students partaking in the reading of Hamlet.
Actors from London will be bringing the real drama
There will be a pre-show performances beginning at 5:30pm before special guests from London perform Hamlet. Liberian singers, dancers, youth drama from B4 Youth Theater, Gbarnga troupe and Mt. Barclay troupe will perform. Also, there will be presentations from Montserrado Student
Association Hamlet Book Club participants and all kinds of enjoyment.
Meanwhile, ticket purchases and any needed information can be collected at Evelyn’s Restaurant on Gibson in Sinkor or at the Afropolitan Boutique on Benson St.
Many people have helped B4 Youth put this together. Board members in Liberia and the US, B4 Youth’s partners have been a big help.
“We would like to thank these people and let everyone listening know that they can get more information from these people. We have Board Vice President Jebbeh Cole Fahnbulleh, Board Member Adolphus Scott, Board Member Tianna Kesselly, who are always representing and making things great for our students. Then we have our friends and partners Lester Parker, Marjean, our own Salamartu Duncan, Robena Vincent, Aurelius Butler who is on the US side but comes back to help, Rosana Schaack of THINK, Hawa Ellen Knuckles of Evelyn’s and so many others,” added Blanks Jones, the founder of B4 Youths.
“Especially the US Embassy who sponsored the Hamlet book clubs for more than 100 students who will read the book and attend the show with gratis tickets. This effort was assisted largely by the Montserrado Student Association and Mohammed Dolley. Then we have other people who have taken the lead to make this great like ED Cole, Mercy Pour who is our Program Manager, our teachers in the book clubs and arts instructors such as Cynthia Gaye, Pauline Medeh and Lawrence ‘Awesome’ George.”
For the meantime, B4 Youth is welcoming volunteers and sponsors. They hope for a sponsor that can help make student tickets available for a discount cost.
“If you are listening and want to help, please call us for information on how to sponsor this program. As you can see, we like to thank our partners and sponsors publicly and there are many benefits associated with being part of this major event,” Janet added.
B4 Youth cast educated citizens through the arts. As the premier theatre organization in Liberia today, this group has performed three times at Monrovia City Hall in which Madam President has attended all, conducted “pop-up” theatre for Ebola awareness reaching more than 300,000 Liberians to share education on prevention which was featured in the USA Today article with Orlando Bloom, American movie actor, and given performances in Gbarnga, Buchanan and many areas of Montserrado. Founded by Jasmine Blanks and supported by board members in Liberia and the US, this organization has made it possible for more than 400 Liberian children and youth ages 10-18 to have continuous, free access to music, dance and drama instruction and has been able to train six previous students as Arts Instructors who are leading programs throughout the various counties.
The story is this one: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, has not succeeded his father as King. On the throne is his uncle Claudius, who married Queen Gertrude immediately upon the death of her husband, the first King Hamlet. At midnight the ghost of the dead King appears to his son on the battlements of the castle and commands revenge. Hamlet, unsure at first, simulates madness and asks for a performance of a play with a plot much like his father’s murder, so that he can see how the King responds. Claudius, deeply alarmed, plans to send Hamlet to England. However, before Hamlet leaves, he kills Polonius (the father of Ophelia, the woman Hamlet loves) who is hiding behind a curtain in Gertrude’s room. Two messengers conduct Hamlet towards the voyage to England, bearing letters that order his death when he arrives. Ophelia’s brother Laertes, enraged by the news of his father’s death, finds that his sister is helplessly mad, and swears to kill Hamlet. Ophelia drowns herself, and Hamlet returns to Denmark in time for her burial. Later, at a fencing match where Laertes seeks to stab Hamlet with a poisoned rapier, both men are wounded. Queen Gertrude drinks, in error, the poisoned wine Claudius has prepared for Hamlet. Laertes and Gertrude die; Hamlet, after killing Claudius, collapses in the arms of his friend Horatio and dies.
Learning of the king his father’s death, Hamlet comes home to find his uncle married to his mother and installed on the Danish throne. At night, the ghost of the old king demands that Hamlet avenge his ‘foul and most unnatural murder’. Encompassing political intrigue and man and woman business obsession, philosophical reflection and violent action, tragic depth and wild humor, Hamlet is Shakespeare’s ‘poem unlimited’, a colossus in the story of the English language and the fullest expression of Shakespeare’s genius.