A troubled nation, governed by tormented, rapacious leaders. Individuals plagued by uncertainty, fear, and rage. Lovers, friends, and families grappling with physical, emotional, mental, spiritual crisis. Although written over four centuries ago, Shakespeare’s Hamlet is the perfect tale of the 21st century. So claim the director and actors of Inland Isle Players who will perform the play December 2nd in the Kenneth Ford Theater.

A troubled nation, governed by tormented, rapacious leaders. Individuals plagued by uncertainty, fear, and rage. Lovers, friends, and families grappling with physical, emotional, mental, spiritual crisis. Although written over four centuries ago, Shakespeare’s Hamlet is the perfect tale of the 21st century. So claim the director and actors of Inland Isle Players who will perform the play December 2nd in the Kenneth Ford Theater.

“The play speaks strongly to us today,” director Wendy Poer claimed. “Hamlet is struggling to find his way through chaos; everywhere he turns, there’s chaos; he’s waking up, trying to piece it together.”

“Who am I? What am I to do? These are the deep questions of the human soul and spirit.” Poer added. “It’s not easy to ask these questions, and there’s no magic wand. Hamlet provides such a strong picture of a human who wants to wake up to who he is.”

“Hamlet provides a picture of a modern human being, how each individual has to find his own relationship to good and evil, find the truth out for themselves.” Audun Smit, who plays Hamlet, said.

“Most people experience Hamlet as a weak personality who doesn’t get his act together, but out of our group’s work, it seems more true to say he’s not weak. He takes responsibility for his actions. The drama is focused on the finding of his relationship to the world,” Smit added.

Cover2 Cover and the Siskiyou Arts Council asked the Inland Isle Players to perform the play as a fundraiser for south Siskiyou libraries. “It’s fantastic to see so many artists in our community come forward to offer their gifts and talents to support our libraries,” Nadine Aiello, C2C co-founder said.

 “It’s incredible to have the library be seen a community center, from which all things happen,” she added. “It’s a marvelous way to weave the three threads of life—our artists, our community, and our libraries—together.”

The 16 member cast began studying the play a year ago; rehearsals began last summer. Many of the actors made their own costumes and created their own props. “The materials are beautiful, very rich silks and velvets, multi-patterned,” Poer said. “The swords, chairs, benches, shovels for the gravediggers—all were made by the cast and many, many other helpers.”

The Players’ are a tightly knit group of family and friends; their name reflects their common vision. “It’s a dream of all of us to create inner islands of a world we’d like to see, to cultivate something different.” Poer said. “The artist is central to developing heart forces, not greed, which we see so much today.”

 “I’m hoping the audience will have the feeling of drama that Shakespeare created,” Tim Pfieffer, who plays the villain Claudius, said. “Claudius, who sets the drama in motion, is driven to murder by his envy. Because he refuses to repent for it, he is driven further into evil.”

“The play is about friendship, too” Ian Perry, who plays Hamlet’s friend Horatio, said. “You don’t think of Horatio much, but he is loyal, noble, steadfast to Hamlet.”

Inland Isle Players is giving only one performance of Hamlet, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday, December 2nd. “The original play is very long,” Poer noted, “so we made a few cuts to make it reasonable for a modern audience. We expect it to be about three and a half hours, with an intermission.”

 Suggested donations are five dollars for students and ten for adults. All proceeds benefit south Siskiyou libraries.

For more information, visit covertwocover@gmail.com