Norwegian actor Ingolf Schanche as Hamlet, ca. 1920.
The all-too familiar image of a Shakespearean man in Victorian garb holding up a skull and reciting a
soliloquy is one that many forget is derived from the play “Hamlet.” Of the sprawling works of William
Shakespeare, “Hamlet” is one of the most well-known.
UA Theatre and Dance is bringing their own interpretation of “Hamlet” this upcoming week, Oct. 4-9, at the
Marian Gallaway Theatre. The show times are 7:30 p.m. from Oct. 4-8, and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 9. The
performance is directed by professor Seth Panitch.
“When most people think of Hamlet the first things that come to mind are probably a guy holding a skull,
Mel Gibson, four hours of brooding speeches, the Oedipus complex, and just basically a lot of death,” said Bailey Mariea, a senior majoring in musical theatre. “What Seth Panitch has so brilliantly accomplished with our production is the incorporation of music and projections to heighten the entire sensory experience of the play.”
Through the utilization of jazz and new-age practices, UA Theatre and Dance’s show aims to break free of
the cookie-cutter version of “Hamlet” that has been performed the world over. The original production of
“Hamlet” typically rounds off at about four hours long, but this version is a uniquely abridged edition of the
“Audiences should be expecting Shakespeare’s exquisite literature paired with a dynamic jazz music score,”
said Rex Glover, a senior majoring in musical theatre and dance. “I hope and think audiences will be
surprised by this spoken word approach to one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies.”
Natalie Brown, a junior majoring in telecommunication and film, has a unique connection with this
production of “Hamlet.” Brown shot a documentary of actress Caroline Ficken and her rehearsal process
while preparing for her major role in the show.
“I chose to make a film about Caroline because I am so fascinated by her talent for character connection,
wholly embodying her roles, and also learning from these characters in her own life, and I wanted others to
witness that talent as well,” Brown said. “Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ is an incredibly moving play to begin with,
but director Seth Panitch always pulls something chilling out of these already outrageously talented
In the play, Bailey Mariea performs as Queen Hertrude, Hamlet’s mother. Mariea takes her role seriously.
She spoke about having to perform such an immensely famous play, and understanding the challenge
behind performing it well.
“The obvious pressure that comes with performing Hamlet – one of the most well known plays of all time –
is being able to keep audiences guessing,” Mariea said. “It’s our job as actors to really question and
challenge all of the preconceived notions of what Hamlet should be. This is a story that so many people are
familiar with, so at the end of the day it’s really on all of us in the cast and on the creative team to share this
story in a new and thought provoking light.”
This abridged version of “Hamlet” aims to stand alone, while also staying true to the immensity of the
material that is “Hamlet.” Although it will have the added element of a jazz score with spoken word, this
“Hamlet” aims to satisfy at the same degree as the original Shakespeare script.
“I’d say that for $14 and two hours of your time you can take part in one of the most iconic stories ever
written,” Mariea said. “We have a sharp, sultry, and innovative show that will be unlike any other
production of ‘Hamlet’ you’ve ever seen.”
Tickets are available for purchase at ua.tix.com and the performances will be hosted at 7:30 p.m. from Oct.
4-8, and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 9 in the Marian Gallaway Theatre.