"Hamlet," Shakespeare's most highly acclaimed play, considered by many to be the greatest literary work in the English language, opens Thursday, Nov. 6 at Coastal Carolina University and will star CCU theater alumnus Kevin Kane, now a professional actor based in New York City.
Performances are scheduled for Nov. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 8 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for ages 18 and under.
Kane, who attended Myrtle Beach High School before enrolling at Coastal, was seen on the Wheelwright stage in "Waiting for Godot," "Macbeth," "Someone to Watch Over Me," and other productions.
The action of the play begins following the death of Hamlet's father, the King of Denmark, and the overhasty marriage of his mother to his father's brother - the current King and usurper of the throne. Hamlet's grief and rage are multiplied when the ghost of his father appears to tell him that his death was "most unnatural ... at the hands of the man who now wears his crown."
The plot thickens as Hamlet feigns madness in order to find proof of his uncle's guilt, accidentally kills his girlfriend's father, battles pirates on the high seas, buries his true love, and faces the final treachery of the king in the form of a poisoned sword.
Director Sandi Shackelford, professor of performing arts, said the production has been in the planning stages for several years, with Kane in mind for the title role.
The 17-member cast includes Dan Ennis, assistant professor of English, as Polonius; CCU graduate Sean Pierce, as Claudius; Kris Rau, performing arts teaching associate, as Queen Gertrude; and Eddie Dyer, vice president of university relations, as the ghost of Hamlet's father.
Student members of the cast, all theater majors, include: Jed Keck as Horatio and Hamlet's understudy; Mike Bratsafolis, a sophomore, as Laertes; Julia Burgoyne, a senior, as Ophelia; Tiffany Scribner, a senior, as Guildenstern; Dave Thomas, senior, as Rosencrantz; Julian Colleta, a sophomore, as a gravedigger; Jenny Greer as Marcellus; Kenny Greer, sophomore, as Francisco and the priest; Rob Davidson, senior, as Osric; Danny Hinckley, a freshman, as Bernardo; and Charlotte Dyal and Dan Morgan as elite soldiers.
Lizz Farmer is the stage manager, and Sarah Severn is her assistant. Melanie Schuessler is costume designer, and Tymberley Wittrig is in charge of lighting and scenic design.
For ticket information, contact the Wheelwright Box Office at 349-2502.