Thornton Academy News

Starship Meets Shakespeare: Thornton Academy’s Hamlet takes on the 80’s
Jeff Christenbury

The Thornton Academy Players are excited to debut their version of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet November 12-14 at the Harry P. Garland II Auditorium at Thornton Academy in Saco.  

Thornton’s fall play takes the Shakespeare classic and transports the audience into the 1980’s.  David Hanright, Thornton’s theater director says “​​we are placing Hamlet in a time period modern audiences can understand more readily – which is something I believe Shakespeare would have agreed with. Most people think Shakespeare is all seriousness and formality, but Shakespeare was an entertainer by trade. He was interested in selling tickets – and to do so he had to appeal to a very wide audience. Also – music and (most especially) costumes were what the common audience member wanted to see during a play. So, this year it’s an alternate Hamlet eighties world. Hold on to those leg warmers and lace your high tops and get out to the Garland Auditorium for the most popular of Shakespeare’s 39 plays.”

Junior Logan New plays the titular role of Hamlet.  This role requires an immersion into the difficult language of Shakespeare with more than 1,000 lines to learn.  New says “I did not have an appreciation for Shakespeare before we started working on this play but from working with Mr. Hanright I have learned a lot about the timelessness of the story.  The cast really feels like we are a part of a legacy in theater that is really meaningful to us.”
Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most well known plays.  The ghost of the King of Denmark tells his son Hamlet to avenge his murder by killing the new king, Hamlet's uncle. Hamlet feigns madness, contemplates life and death, and seeks revenge. His uncle, fearing for his life, also devises plots to kill Hamlet. The play ends with a duel, during which the King, Queen, Hamlet's opponent and Hamlet himself are all killed. 

Hamlet can be seen Friday November 12 and Saturday November 13 at 7PM  or Sunday November 14 at 2PM.  Patrons can attend both an in person performance or select a streaming option.  Tickets, streaming information, and current Covid safety protocols can be found online at:

Prospective students and families are invited to the show. Campus tours will be offered before the 2pm show on Sunday, November 14th. Following the show, prospective students and families will have the opportunity to meet some of the cast and teachers from the Art Department. Complimentary tickets will be given to prospective students and their families who register here:

Thornton Academy is a co‐educational, private boarding and day school serving grades 6 through 12. Founded in Saco, Maine, in 1811, Thornton is one of the nation’s longest operating independent schools. Thornton Academy offers a diverse academic curriculum including more than 200 courses, a STEM Center, an award-winning visual and performing arts program, competitive athletics including 25 varsity sports teams, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities to local and international students. For more information, visit 

Thornton Academy was voted the 2021 Best Private School in Maine in the Down East Magazine Readers’ Choice Poll.