Many consider “Hamlet” one of the most highly regarded literary works of all time. No doubt, that is how Calhoun Community College Professor Bill Provin feels about the Shakespearean classic.
It is one of William Shakespeare’s longest and most demanding plays, according to Provin.
And it’s a production that Calhoun Community College Theatre has decided to stage under Provin’s direction alongside William Godsey. The production will start its run this week at the Black Box Theatre on the school’s Limestone County campus.
“It has comedy, music and a play within the play,” Provin said, adding it offers astounding psychological insights of which only Shakespeare is capable and serves as a manual for proper acting techniques. The play also contains many famous lines such as “To be or not to be,” and reaches its climax after a conversation with a skull.
Provin believes the play crosses the frontiers of heaven and hell while exploring the meaning of life, the relationship between God and man and “the very essence of human existence.”
Most of all he believes it’s a really interesting story — a thriller, mystery and romance tinged with murder and madness, betrayal and revenge, secret messages, sword fights and even a ghost.
At the heart of the play is the mystery of Hamlet himself, according to Provin. Hamlet is considered full of surprises with a mind of his own.
“The story line is action-packed and suspenseful,” Provin said. “The only thing that slows it down is Hamlet, always thinking, questioning, remembering. His soliloquies often seem more like internal dialogues than individual musings, as if he’s talking to someone outside the story — like you and me.”
The Calhoun cast of characters include Barnardo and Francisco, soliders of the watch, played by Quentin Barrentine, Ryan Grisham and Layla Webster respectively; Horatio played by Roy Chase and Daniel Moore; Marcellus played by Jake Goodman; Lorentius played by Scott Tuttle; Claudius, King of Denmark, played by Johnathan Little; Gertrude, Queen of Denmark played by Kelsey Parson; Polonius played by Damien Peters; Ophelia played by Jill Harris; Laertes played by Ben Coker and Andrew Harris; Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, played by Kai Alexander Ealy; ghost played by Phil Parker; Reynaldo played by Justina Eastmond and Chris Terry; Rosencrantz played by Kenya Mims and Jessica Miller; Guildenstern played by Lakin Lovett and Jessica Miller; gravedigger played by Peter Damon; Osric played by Roy Chase and Daniel Moore and Balthasar played by Ryan Grisham and Layla Webster.
Officers, courtiers and players in the theatre company also include Wesley Bittler, Roy Chase, Ben Coker, Tori Denslow, Justina Eastmond, Savion Elliot, Andrew Harris, Lakin Lovett, Jessica Miller, Kenya Mims, Daniel Moore and Chris Terry.
“Hamlet” will run for 12 shows starting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 27-28, March 1, March 6-8, March 13-15 and March17-18. The production will start at 2 p.m. on March 9.
Tickets are $10 for students and $12 general admission.
Find more information at 256-306-2693 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.