The play’s the thing

Sophomore Danny Merritt and senior Matt Mickenberg prepare backstage before the second night of Hamlet at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre last Thursday. Guest Director Jay Goede was brought in to work with the actors who brought to the stage Shakespeare's literary piece.  Brittney Bomnin // Photo Editor
Sophomore Danny Merritt and senior Matt Mickenberg prepare backstage before Hamlet at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre last Thursday. Brittney Bomnin // Photo Editor

The thought of facing Hamlet again after being forced to read it in high school may send many students running, but nothing could be a bigger mistake. After all, the current production of Hamlet, which runs at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre through Saturday, infuses William Shakespeare’s most famous drama with a dark, malevolent energy.

This version of Hamlet was given a postmodern feel yet remains true to the original story of the “melancholy Dane.” The murder of Prince Hamlet’s father by his uncle sets into action a tragic series of events that throws the Danish royal court into complete and utter chaos.

The part of Hamlet is notorious for being one of the most demanding roles in theatre; previous Hamlets include such actors as Laurence Olivier, Ralph Fiennes, David Tennant and, currently on Broadway, Jude Law. Senior Jed Alevizos was more than up for the challenge, and his Hamlet is a tour de force unlike any seen in recent memory.

“I never thought I’d be in the same category [as some of the actors who have portrayed Hamlet],” Alevizos said. “Lots of people say that when you play this role, you don’t become Hamlet; Hamlet becomes you.”

Alevizos, a musical theatre major performing in his first Shakespeare play, said the biggest challenge was the language. Portraying Hamlet, an emotionally dynamic character who is onstage for the vast majority of the play, was a “tremendous experience,” he said.

“I feel fortunate to be able to say ‘I play Hamlet’… Few actors ever get the chance,” Alevizos said.

Junior Christine D’Amore, the show’s production stage manager, was honored to work on the production. She has been an indispensable part of the production since it began rehearsals Sept. 15.

“It’s so fun,” D’Amore said. “It’s Hamlet. Who doesn’t want to stage manage Hamlet? It’s like every theatre kid’s ultimate show.”

Hamlet closes this Saturday. “Totally Tuesday,” which is free for students, is tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Ring Theatre Box Office from 12 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information call 305-284-3355 or visit


WHAT: Hamlet

WHEN: Tuesday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m

WHERE: Jerry Herman Ring Theatre

COST: Free admission Tuesday; $8 for students