FOR NEXT WEEK: 11HAMLET: Classic Shakespeare play makes appearance at St. Edward’s

This year’s Fall production of Hamlet is the result of a long process with the Theater department under the Mary Moody Northen Theatre Artistic Director, David Long; as well as a coordination with the current Freshman Studies common theme Hearts and Minds: Changing the Conversation about Mental Health.

Hamlet is a part of the core English curriculum in Texas, which means many of the freshman are already familiar with the work. The fact that Shakespeare is so widely well known means there is more pressure on the director and cast to perform to a set standard, and bring something new to the show.

Michelle Polgar, the director, said about directing the show, “the prospect scared [her], but it has been and continues to be an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience.”

Auditions for Hamlet happened during the run for Love and Information, and rehearsals for Hamlet started right after. The cast includes, among others, Seth Stewart (BFA Acting ’16) as Hamlet, Cheyenne Barton (BFA Acting ’16) as Ofelia, Conor Kelch (BFA Acting’ 15) as Horatio, and Jake McVicker (BFA Acting ’15) as Laertes.

Regarding Michelle’s “organic” directing technique, Barton said, “[she] doesn’t necessarily choreograph everything from the get-go” and that gives the actors much more freedom with their performances.

Something that Stewart found interesting was Hamlet’s “humor…he is sharp and quick and witty and clever,” and it is a “dream come true” for him to get to play this paramount role.

Kelch, told us a bit about how important table work is with something like Shakespeare. “We did extensive table work with the entire cast…you have to be very precise with the scansion of the text.”

In order to prepare for opening night McVicker “make[s] sure to get a full night’s sleep…then [I] go about my day as leisurely as I can.”

In the words of Barton, “It’s Hamlet!…come to the show with an open mind, willing to learn. It is such an incredible journey, you will benefit so much from it.”

Hamlet opens Nov. 13, and runs through Nov. 23. You can buy tickets online or at the box office at Mary Moody Northen Theatre.