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Kent State's School of Theatre and Dance Presents Unique Take on "Hamlet"

Posted Mar. 23, 2011

Ophelia, Kronborg CastleThe School of Theatre and Dance will complete their 2010-2011 season with one of Shakespeare's most powerful and influential tragedies, Hamlet. The play runs April 15 through April 23 in Wright-Curtis Theatre. Shows run Tues. through Sat. at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. For tickets call 330-672-2497 or visit www.theatre.kent.edu to order online. Adult tickets are $16; seniors, KSU alumni, faculty and staff are $12; students with valid college ID or under 18 at $8. Groups of 10 or more can receive a group discount of $7 a ticket. The box office accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, personal checks and cash, and is open weekdays, 12 p.m.-5 p.m. The box office is located in the lobby of the Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance, 1325 Theatre Drive on the main campus of Kent State in Kent.

Written somewhere between 1599 and 1601, this play recounts how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius's brother and Prince Hamlet's father, and then succeeds to the throne and marries Gertrude, King Hamlet's wife and mother of Prince Hamlet. The play vividly portrays real and feigned madness, and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest and moral corruption. Director Mark Monday innovatively takes the subject of moral corruption, along with human greed and the struggle for power, to new heights as he introduces religion as an additional component of turmoil.

"With all of the progress the entire world has made, such as the Civil Rights Movement, we cannot seem to solve the problem of human greed and the struggle for power. Even Hamlet commits the greediest of deeds - an 'eye for an eye,'" says Monday. "Our version of Hamlet features a unique concept - Hamlet is Muslim. Pitting a newfound religion against traditional Christianity helped me understand Hamlet's indecisiveness."

Steve Zapytowski, professor of design and technology for the School of Theatre and Dance has the unique task of adding a virtual performer to the production by creating an avatar for the Ghost of Hamlet. (Note: An avatar is an online virtual body serving as the graphical representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character in games or virtual worlds.) Zapytowski's avatar will represent King Hamlet and will be projected throughout the play. The voice of King Hamlet is recorded for the avatar by Chuck Richie, associate professor, School of Theatre and Dance.

Mark Monday joined the faculty in the School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State University in the fall semester of 2007 and serves as Head of the MFA Acting Program. Mark earned his MFA in Acting from West Virginia University and his BFA in Acting from the conservatory program at North Carolina School of the Arts. He is a Certified Master Teacher in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique and is a member of the Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA). He serves as Associate Artistic Director for the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium (GLMCC). Mark's extensive directing credits include favorites King Lear, Once On This Island, The Learned Ladies, As You Like It, The Who's Tommy, Moby Dick-Rehearsed, and sadly, the final professional production of Seven Guitars prior to the death of August Wilson. This past summer Monday directed the world premiere play, Mona Lisa by Ron Burch.

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For more information contact:

Effie A. Tsengas, PR/Marketing Coordinator, College of the Arts, etsengas@kent.edu, 330-672-8398