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Project Shakespeare students performing at a celebration of the Bard’s 450th birthday next week include Christopher Commander, center, as Hamlet; from left, center and around, Jennifer Migotsky, Ryan Hoiriis (with hand on chin), Yasmine Seghir, Genna Weidner, Cailin Ennis, Alexa Murray, Patrick Sherlock and Kaitlynn Shea. (Courtesy)

Monadnock region thespians to celebrate Bard's birth

JAFFREY — Young Monadnock region thespians plan to celebrate the Bard’s 450th birthday at a Project Shakespeare fundraiser this spring break.

“Speak, Drink & Be Merry — All Things Hamlet!” will be performed at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Monadnock Inn in Jaffrey Center.

“It’s a mash-up of parodies and songs and skits that are Hamlet-inspired,” said Deborah Thurber, artistic director of the Jaffrey-based Project Shakespeare.

This is Project Shakespeare’s second annual fundraiser and is part of a year-long effort to send nine of the Project Shakespeare students to England in August to perform its student production of Hamlet on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor stage in the Stratford-upon-Avon.

The youth theater program was chosen to perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company last summer and efforts to raise the $30,000 costs for the trip are ongoing.

What better way to raise funds for the trip then to celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, Thurber said.

The community has been so generous, she said, adding that the money expected to be raised at Tuesday’s fundraiser plus other grants and funds will complete the fundraising needed for the trip.

Students ages 8 and older will present the evening of skits and songs in celebration of the most performed play in the world, she said.

When the clock strikes midnight, London time, the entertainment will pause so everyone can sing a birthday wish to the Bard and enjoy birthday cake. Finger food will also be served and wine will be sold.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $30 for couples and $10 for students.

All the proceeds will go to Project Shakespeare’s “For England!” Fund.

Project Shakespeare students performing include Christopher Commander, Luke Wilson, Ryan Hoiriis, Alexa Murray, Cailin Ennis, Patrick Sherlock, Jennifer Migotsky, Yasmine Seghir, Lauren LeBritton and Genna Weidner.

Youth students from “Project Shakespeare Too!” that are performing including Erin Weidner, Izabella Ketchersid, Hannah Bernier, Alyssia Maki, Mary Riffle and Anna Taylor.

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