SWHS Teacher Chris Jensen Wows in “Hamlet” Production


Sedro-Woolley High School’s Chris Jensen, also known as Mr. CJ Jensen, played a variety of roles in the Outsiders Inn production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” which showed from April 18 to May 6 on the intimate stage of the Explorations Academy located in Bellingham.


Jensen’s role as Corambis, known as Polonius in other versions, was a charming take on a tired character. While many colleagues and students new and old excitedly anticipated the brutal death of Jensen and his character, his portrayal of Corambis and his unfortunate stabbing left the audience truly saddened.

Jensen proved to be quite versatile in this production as he spanned many roles. Not only did he play loving, humorous Corambis, but he also played the strict m

erciless role of Fortinbrasse, and, dawning a backwards cap while belting out a pithy tune, he perfected the role of “Grave Digger.”

This production was based on a lesser known version by Shake

speare, known as the Bad Quarto of Hamlet. As explained by the director, this performance was the US debut for this particular script. They even got a chance to perform it in the Puget Sound Theatre located in Seattle.

The cast also took other creative liberties, for example, casting a woman, Karen Edland, as Horatio, or as Jensen put it, “Heratio.” In response to Ivan Sandomire’s convincing portrayal of Hamlet, one audience member has this to say: “Hamlet? More like DAMNlet.”

It is experiences like these that uncover the depths of a simple coworker or teacher. Jensen is not “100% math,” as he would like you to think. Rather, he is 1/2 math, 3/10s performer, and 1/5 role model. After all, in the wise words of Jensen himself, “Fractions are our friends.”