Senior project revamps Shakespearean classic
Posted April 25, 2008

Sword fighting, ghosts, revenge, love and suspense are what can be expected from the production of “Hamlet” taking place this weekend and next in the Dailey Theatre. “Hamlet” is theater major Sam Guzik’s acting senior project.

“It took me about a year to work on it,” Guzik said.

The tragedy was written by William Shakespeare in 1600 and is considered one of the classics of world literature.

With the direction of renowned Croatian director Georgij Paro and Theatre Director Steve Kent, the four to five hour play has been reduced to a two-hour show.

“We edited,” Guzik said. “We chose what parts really needed to be on the show.”

The result is a fast paced action-filled production that is entertaining and contemporary.

“We changed a couple of plot points,” Kent said. “Stitched it together in a way that is only two hours and much more active.”

Kent originally had requested Paro to direct the show, but Paro only accepted the directing job if Kent was the co-director of the project.

“My job is helping him do what he wants to do,” Kent said.
Guzik worked with the directors to fully understand his character’s motive and the under text of the play.

Many actors have attempted to bring ‘Hamlet’ to life and failed. Guzik, on the other hand, brings the character to life in a dark performance that remains true to the play.

“The hardest thing was letting go of myself, and letting the character come through,” Guzik said. “One has their own ideas of things and you just have to listen to what the character wants.”

Hamlet is often described as the hardest character to portray, but Guzik took the challenge head on when he was told it would be his senior project. It takes a lot of in-depth preparation to pull off such a complex character.

In one of their most elaborate stages ever constructed, the crew proves that the Theatre Arts Department at ULV is as strong as ever.

The amount of detail provided from every wall, prop, light and costume is awe striking.

The stage itself is an art piece. Constructed in a slanted manner, the stage provides the scenery for a throne room, bedroom, theater and graveyard.

The scene design was done by Professor of Theatre Arts David Flaten while lighting design was done by Theatre Manager Elizabeth Pietrzak and costumes by costume designer Maro Parian.

Much can be said about the set construction, lighting and costumes that are all so artistically designed.

There are so many things for the eyes to enjoy that it would seem hard for the actors to outshine the stage design. But they do.

The actors involved in “Hamlet” show so much commitment to their roles onstage that even a Shakespearean hater would enjoy this production.

The director cut the show so that it would be easy to understand and action packed,” Jennifer Scarr, freshman theater major said. “It is not traditional Shakespeare.”

To add to the excitement of the show, there is even a sword fight sequence carefully choreographed by fight director Robert Hamilton.

The soundtrack to the show is provided with original music and played live by foreign-exchange student Adria Torregosa-Barbosa.

“It is a very intense project,” Kent said. “Georgij wanted this to be a production that really relates to the world of theater and Hamlet’s place in this world.”

The truth is that the ULV theater production of “Hamlet” is a show that carefully thinks of every detail.

The only complaint audiences might find in the show is the size of the Dailey Theater, which seems too small for such a grand production.

“Hamlet” will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday and May 1-3. There will be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 4.

Ticket prices are $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors, faculty and staff and $5 for students.

For more information, call the theater department at 909-593-3511, ext. 4386.

Maria J. Velasco can be reached at mvelasco@ulv.edu.

 

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