"To be, or not to be, that is the question."

You can find the answer this weekend when you attend Pleasant Valley High School's performances of William Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." Shaky's Players will present the play on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in the high school's old auditorium, directed by Mr. Robert Young, PVHS teacher of gifted students.

"'Hamlet' is our first non-comedy since we began Shaky's Players. The role of Hamlet breaks actors. It is a very difficult role," says Young.

Playing Hamlet is PVHS senior, Cody Zahoroiko, and he would agree but feels up to the challenge.

"It's a lot of words to memorize," he says. This is his third year performing Shakespearean plays.

"The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" is a tragedy set in the Kingdom of Denmark. It dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, his own brother and Hamlet's father. He succeeds to the throne and takes as his wife, Gertrude, the old king's widow and Prince Hamlet's mother. The play portrays both true and feigned madness – from overwhelming grief to seething rage – and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption.

"Hamlet" is among the most powerful and influential tragedies in the English language and was one of Shakespeare's most popular works during his lifetime and still ranks among his most-performed.

Members of Shaky's Players say they chose to do "Hamlet."

Alice Spina, PVHS senior, who plays the part of Queen Gertrude, says that this is the third year for several of the actors in Shaky's Players and they felt they wanted their last play to be the most challenging and "Hamlet" was everyone's choice.

So come and see their performances and find out what is rotten in the state of Denmark.