Hamlet Takes the StageGAMBIER, Ohio (January 26, 2012)
After more than forty years, Hamlet by William Shakespeare returns to the Kenyon stage on February 2.
Ben Viccellio '98, assistant professor of drama, directs the play with student and faculty actors in contemporary dress. Viccellio is a playwright and actor, and his roles include Guildenstern in Hamlet at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.
"Everybody wants to play Hamlet," he said. "Hamlet is done often, but not as often as most actors would like. I want to make sure the students encounter the plays that they really should know before they leave college, and Hamlet is one of those that they need to know intimately.
"It truly is a timeless play. With Hamlet, we have maybe the first character in dramatic literature that is really looking inward."
Hamlet, played by Kenyon senior Jack Dwyer of Wheaton, Illinois, is a prince of Denmark. The play examines Hamlet's tragic pursuit of vengeance against his uncle, who has murdered Hamlet's father and married Hamlet's mother. "It's a play that asks great questions about the human spirit," Dwyer said.
In mastering the part, Dwyer has developed dexterity with the language. "You have to root the words in yourself," Dwyer said. "You learn to bring out what is inside of you and activate it, and you know what the language is saying and you're able to tell the story."
Acting, he said, "is just something that I enjoy. I do think it's important to try and see life through the perspective of art."
In directing the longest of Shakespeare's plays, Viccellio has trimmed it to arrive at less than three hours. "I'm a big believer in speed on stage," he said. "It's a beast of a play, very big. The set is beautiful and the costumes are looking great. But there's not a lot of street dressing, not a lot of furniture on stage. I like just the actors on stage with no place to escape."
Hamlet will be performed on February 2, 3 and 4 at 8:00 p.m. at the Bolton Theater. General admission tickets cost $5; groups of 10 or more, $2.50 per person; people over 65, non-Kenyon students, and children under 12, $2; Kenyon students, $1. The box office (740-427-5546) is open daily from 1:00-5:00 p.m. during the week of the show and for one hour before each performance. To learn more about the production, call 740-427-5531.
Laura Barati '12, Cornelia/Player Queen
Edward Baxter '15, Barnardo/Sailor/Lucianus/Attendant One
Robert E. Bennett, professor emeritus of classics, Polonius
Caroline Black '12, Marcella/Messenger
Elliot Cromer '15, Osric
Bennett Davidson '12, Dancer/Player Two/Fortinbras' Soldier Two/Attendant Five
Devon Donohue '14, Musician
Jack Dwyer '12, Hamlet
Patience Fairbrother '14, 2nd Player/Horatio's Attendant
Kenneth Fedorko '13, 1st Player/Priest/Attendant Three/Fortinbras' Soldier Four
Jeremy Fuller '14, Musician
Doug Healy '13, Laertes
David Hoyt '14, Musician
Atticus Koontz '14, Dancer/Player Three/Fortinbras' Soldier Five
Caroline Lindy '12, 2nd Gravedigger/Player/Dancer Four
Aaron Lynn '14, Dancer/Player One/Fortinbras' Soldier One/Attendant Four
Sarah MacDonald '12, Queen Gertrude
Hector Marrero '15, Fortinbras
Issa Polstein '15, Horatio
Miles Purtinton '12, Francisco/Player King/Captain/Attendant Two
William Quam '14, Guildenstern/Fortinbras' Soldier Three
Daniel Rasch '14, King Claudius
Kevin Rich, assistant professor of drama, Gravedigger
Rachel Sachnoff '12, Ophelia
Ellie Shepley '12, Rosencrantz
Matt Super '15, Voltemand/English Ambassador
Jonathan Tazewell '84, Thomas S. Turgeon Professor of Drama, Ghost