Students at ETSU are preparing to brush up their Shakespeare. Actors from The London Stage will host workshops in cooperation with various departments at ETSU and will cap its week with three performances of “Hamlet” before continuing to share The Bard’s work across the country.
Peter Holland is a McMeel Family chair in Shakespeare Studies and associate dean for the arts at University of Notre Dame, where AFTLS is headquartered in the United States. Holland obtained his Ph.D from Cambridge in 1997 and came to Notre Dame in 2002.
“Our company’s aim is to make his words exert their magic and their power in performance, but we do this in a vital, and perhaps unconventional, way,” said Holland.
The performance of “Hamlet” will be unique due to its minimalistic set pieces and costume design, all brought together without the aid of a director. The five actors of the troupe will also work with classes from the departments of Literature & Language, Theatre & Dance, Communication Studies, Storytelling and the Honors College leading up to their performances on Oct. 25-27.
“This kind of residency is not something that we typically do, but it’s such a great experience for us,” said Anita DeAngelis, director of the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at ETSU.
“Hamlet” is over 400 years old, which can lead to difficulties in understanding for the modern audience, but actress Grace Andrews, who plays Ophelia and five other roles in the production, has high hopes for the troupe’s performance.
“It’s so multi-layered, and to make it accessible is a challenge because the language is so rich and complex,” Andrews said. “But that’s what we’re trying to do, and I think we’re getting there.”
Performances of “Hamlet” will be held in the Bud Frank Theatre on Oct. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. and at 3 p.m. on Oct. 27. Student admission is only $5 with ID. Tickets can be purchased at www.etsu.edu/martin or by calling 423-439-8587. With only three chances to catch the show, make sure to get your tickets early, so that you can find out what exactly is rotten in Denmark.