Originally published on May 3, 2019 in The Holcad Student Newspaper.
Opening May 2, Theatre Westminster will present the epic thriller “Hamlet.” Directed by Lester Malizia and dramatized by senior theatre major Kyle DePasquale, this infamous play will be performed for the first time in Westminster College’s history. You can catch the show Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.
Alongside DePasquale, senior theatre major Emily Eyler is also working on the show. “Hamlet” is the duo’s capstone project. When asked why they decided to work with this text, DePasquale explained that he and Eyler “love this play and the roles of Hamlet and Ophelia. We love Shakespeare and we wanted to really test ourselves against these challenging characters.” DePasquale and Eyler are playing the roles of Hamlet and Ophelia, respectively.
The play’s twenty-three characters are played by twelve performers from the college and community. DePasquale shared that he has been working on the project for over a year now. “I have been working with my mentor, Lester Malizia, for over a year on interpreting the role, analyzing the play, and developing the character,” said DePasquale.
Shakespeare is a well-known playwright and his plays have become part of our culture, but some still may not know what “Hamlet” entails. Worry not, DePasquale gave a brief description for anyone who may be unaware of the play’s plot:
“This play has complexities, but its plot is very simple. A young prince, born into privilege, now must face the grief of his father’s death, his mother’s remarriage with his uncle, and appearance of his father’s ghost asking him for revenge. This play is Hamlet’s journey to avenge his father,” shared DePasquale.
For those readers who may be more aware of “Hamlet,” you may be wondering how long you’ll be sitting in Beeghly Theatre watching the show. The original run time of “Hamlet” is about four hours, but DePasquale explained that they cut about a third of it to make the time more manageable for audiences. “The same story is in place, along with all the famous lines,” explained DePasquale.
DePasquale and Eyler, as well as the whole production team in Beeghly Theatre, went with a concept to revitalize this classic tale in a modern view. I asked DePasquale why he thought that his fellow students should attend the production, and this is what he had to say: “This is going to be a gripping, thrilling, emotional, funny, and charming production. This play is one of the most renowned in the world, and seeing it performed live is unlike reading it or watching a film of it. Hamlet is a college student with real emotions and feelings. I think people with relate very personally to this play in ways they could never expect.”
If that isn’t enticing enough, there will also be a real stage sword fight featuring a rapier and a dagger. Make sure to reserve tickets online for this amazing production. It would be the perfect excuse to take a quick break from your finals week study schedule.