Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA Theatre and Dance presents “Hamlet”


The all-too familiar image of a Shakespearean man in Victorian garb holding up a skull and reciting a soliloquy is one that many forget is derived from the play “Hamlet.” Of the sprawling works of William Shakespeare, “Hamlet” is one of the most well-known.

UA Theatre and Dance is bringing their own interpretation of “Hamlet” this upcoming week, Oct. 4-9, at the Marian Gallaway Theatre. The show times are 7:30 p.m. from Oct. 4-8, and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 9. The performance is directed by professor Seth Panitch.

“When most people think of Hamlet the first things that come to mind are probably a guy holding a skull, Mel Gibson, four hours of brooding speeches, the Oedipus complex, and just basically a lot of death,” said Bailey Mariea, a senior majoring in musical theatre. “What Seth Panitch has so brilliantly accomplished with our production is the incorporation of music and projections to heighten the entire sensory experience of the play.”

Through the utilization of jazz and new-age practices, UA Theatre and Dance’s show aims to break free of the cookie-cutter version of “Hamlet” that has been performed the world over. The original production of “Hamlet” typically rounds off at about four hours long, but this version is a uniquely abridged edition of the classic play.

“Audiences should be expecting Shakespeare’s exquisite literature paired with a dynamic jazz music score,” said Rex Glover, a senior majoring in musical theatre and dance. “I hope and think audiences will be surprised by this spoken word approach to one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies.”

Natalie Brown, a junior majoring in telecommunication and film, has a unique connection with this production of “Hamlet.” Brown shot a documentary of actress Caroline Ficken and her rehearsal process while preparing for her major role in the show.

“I chose to make a film about Caroline because I am so fascinated by her talent for character connection, wholly embodying her roles, and also learning from these characters in her own life, and I wanted others to witness that talent as well,” Brown said. “Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ is an incredibly moving play to begin with, but director Seth Panitch always pulls something chilling out of these already outrageously talented performers.”

In the play, Bailey Mariea performs as Queen Hertrude, Hamlet’s mother. Mariea takes her role seriously. She spoke about having to perform such an immensely famous play, and understanding the challenge behind performing it well.

“The obvious pressure that comes with performing Hamlet – one of the most well known plays of all time – is being able to keep audiences guessing,” Mariea said. “It’s our job as actors to really question and challenge all of the preconceived notions of what Hamlet should be. This is a story that so many people are familiar with, so at the end of the day it’s really on all of us in the cast and on the creative team to share this story in a new and thought provoking light.”

This abridged version of “Hamlet” aims to stand alone, while also staying true to the immensity of the material that is “Hamlet.” Although it will have the added element of a jazz score with spoken word, this “Hamlet” aims to satisfy at the same degree as the original Shakespeare script.

“I’d say that for $14 and two hours of your time you can take part in one of the most iconic stories ever written,” Mariea said. “We have a sharp, sultry, and innovative show that will be unlike any other production of ‘Hamlet’ you’ve ever seen.”

Tickets are available for purchase at and the performances will be hosted at 7:30 p.m. from Oct. 4-8, and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 9 in the Marian Gallaway Theatre.

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