Hiram College’s Theatre Arts Department is known for its eclectic plays. This season’s adaptation of “Hamlet,” “The Horatio Project,” continues the tradition by bringing a twist to a classic beginning March 23 at 7 p.m. at Renner Theater in Frohring Performing Arts Hall, 11762 Dean Street.
Rick Hyde, M.F.A., associate professor of theatre arts, toyed with the idea of making “Hamlet” a more doable play for undergraduates. Since last summer, Hyde’s vision gained focus. The play was edited into achievable sections by students who took on the task during Fall 3-Week.
“It’s more manageable,” said senior Mackenzie Barry who plays Gertrude in Episode II. “It lets you appreciate and enjoy the play instead of feeling overwhelmed by the sheer size of it.”
Senior August Scarpelli acts as Laertes, First Player in Episode I and Hamlet in HEpisode III. Scarpelli, who assistant-directed and helped to edit the script, explains the scheduling challenges he faced.
“Three plays seemed a lot more complex, but it was good thing because of the richness we have been able to pull out of the episodes separately” Scarpelli said.
Renaming the play also brings it definition. Considering how the character Horatio must tell this story of human nature, the title serves as a reminder that all characters and the audience represent Horatios who must to spread what they’ve learned.
Amid the changes, the play remains true to form. Done mainly with different actors in every episode, the play represents the diverse companies coming to Hiram and putting on the play. The dress is plain and contemporary. Hamlet is marked by a black vest, but is devoid of any allusion to a specific time. This style has allowed people to come in who ordinarily could not devote an entire season to a play. It also has permitted characters who are not typically cast as Hamlet to take on the role, including a female in the first episode.
“It’s exciting. I never thought I’d be able to do ‘Hamlet,’” Hyde said. “We have seven alumni and it’s really nice to see the community that has developed between the people who have graduated four or five years ago and the people who are here now. The 18 people involved are fabulous and they understand how hard this task is.”
Episode III will run March 23 – 24 at 7:30 p.m. following a pre-show talk at 7 p.m., all at Renner Theater.
The Marathon will take place March 31 – April 2. Episode I will run from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Episode II follows from 7-8 p.m. and Episode III runs from 8:20 – 9:20 p.m.