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'Hamlet' doubles student ticket sales

posted Nov 3, 2019, 9:38 AM by Andrew Tichy
The cast of "Hamlet" from Theatre B.
Photo: Carrie Wintersteen | Special to The Spud

By: Iris Ming
A&E Reporter 

From September 27 to October 20, Theatre B performed their production of Hamlet. It was the first play of four in the 17th season of the theatre. The buildup to Hamlet was everywhere, with posters found in stores, college campuses, and the programs of local music events. 

This show was out of the ordinary for Theatre B, which usually puts on lesser-known plays. General admission was above the theatre’s high average, but most notably, Hamlet sold over double the usual number of student tickets. 

Tucker Lucas, who went on to play the title role, was the first to suggest putting on a Shakespeare play to the ensemble. 

“There were a lot of people who all wanted to do Shakespeare, and then the question became, ‘so if we’re gonna do Shakespeare, [which] one?’” Director David Wintersteen said. 

Hamlet rehearsed for five weeks, five days a week. The first challenge for Wintersteen during the rehearsal period was the size of the play. The uncut play ran around four hours and required 20 actors. Theatre B’s production of the play was cut from 4200 lines to 2500, and featured eleven actors, four of whom played more than one character. 

“It would be unwieldy to try to do a full Hamlet, and it would be unwieldy for the audience, time wise,” Wintersteen explained. 

The play was shown on a black stage with three curtains hanging from above. Set pieces were brought on stage for some scenes, but for the most part, the play featured stunning imagery for so little scenery. David Huebner’s lighting design was stunning. 

One of the more surprising effects was a grave complete with dirt and a skull hidden under the floorboards. 

“Hamlet is the crown prince, he’s the 1%. And the grave digger is someone who doesn’t have any money, but they are equal in terms of intellect and wit. There’s a lot of interesting and fun banter that happens there,” Wintersteen said of his favorite scene. 

The cast and crew had fun together even while telling a story as dark and tragic as Hamlet. The ensemble has been around for 17 years, putting on about 90 shows together. If you attend a few showing from Theatre B, you’ll begin to see some familiar actors. The next play of the season is The Last Schwartz, a family drama. Get your tickets for performances from November 29 to December 21 at