GAMBIER — After more than 40 years, “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare returns to the Kenyon College stage Feb. 2.
Ben Viccellio, assistant professor of drama, directs the play with student and faculty actors in contemporary dress. Viccellio, a Kenyon alumnus, 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. 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, Ill., 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. Dwyer said, “It’s a play that asks great questions about the human spirit.”
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 Feb. 2, 3 and 4 at 8 p.m. at the Bolton Theater, 205 College-Park St. The box office (740-427-5546) is open daily from 1 to 5 p.m. during the week of the show and for one hour before each performance. To learn more about the production, call 427-5531.
Published on January 30, 2012