Atypical Approach to ‘Hamlet’ at Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College
April 29, 2008
The drama program at the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College will present the comedy “I Hate Hamlet” by Paul Rudnick on two weekends in April. Performances are scheduled for April 18, 19, 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee on April 27 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door of Colgan Theater with free parking in Lot E. The Manassas Campus is located at 6901 Sudley Road, just north of Interstate 66.
Manassas resident Dick Creps is directing the play. Creps says “I Hate Hamlet” focuses on a young television star, Andrew Rally, who has decided to expand his acting horizons by playing the role of Hamlet but is apprehensive about whether he is up to the challenge. As fate would have it, he rents an apartment once inhabited by John Barrymore, whose performances as Hamlet are legendary. Following a séance, the ghost of Barrymore appears to offer guidance and prepare Rally for the role.
Meanwhile, Rally must contend with his innocent girlfriend and a variety of greedy handlers. Despite Barrymore’s assistance, Rally’s premiere as Hamlet doesn’t go well and in the end he must decide between the easy money he could make by playing shallow TV characters and the satisfaction to be gained from taking on challenging stage roles. The play finds humor in its characters and circumstances, poking fun at actors, Hollywood producers, agents, realtors and Shakespeare.
The cast includes Steven Rice of Manassas as Andrew Rally, Charles St. Charles of Washington, D.C., as John Barrymore, Nicole Underwood of Sterling as Rally’s girlfriend, Marion Dobbins of Bristow as a real estate agent, Harold Demas of Centreville as a TV producer, and Margaret Poethig of Arlington as Rally’s agent.
“This play is a delight to direct,” Creps said. “It’s funny in a variety of ways, has considerable action including a swordfight, and features interesting and well-written characters. It treats Hamlet respectfully while also having fun and introducing it subversively to new audiences.”
According to Creps, “I Hate Hamlet” pays tribute to the theater by providing actors with meaty roles that allow them to display their talents.
“The characters are all very distinct and sharply defined, and it has been great fun helping the actors bring those qualities to life,” Creps said. “On the technical side, we have creatively applied our limited resources to assemble a great set, supported by effective lighting, sound and some interesting special effects.”
To learn more, call O’Sullivan at 703-257-6595.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site, www.nvcc.edu.