UNL Theatre continues with new adaptation of 'Hamlet'

Emily Blythe as Hamlet. Photo by Doug Smith.
Emily Blythe as Hamlet. Photo by Doug Smith.

UNL Theatre continues with new adaptation of 'Hamlet'

calendar icon26 Nov 2016    

Lincoln, Neb.--UNL Theatre, the main stage production program at The Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, continues its 2016-2017 season with a new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s HAMLET. HAMLET is adapted by Wesley Broulik.


Performances are Nov. 17, 18 & 30 and Dec. 1, 2, 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees, Nov. 20 & Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Temple Building’s Howell Theatre, first floor.


Tickets are available from the Lied Center Ticket Office, 301 North 12th Street, (402) 472-4747 or (800) 432-3231 Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and one hour prior to performances in the Temple Theatre Lobby. The Temple Building is located at 12th and R Streets.


Tickets are also available at unltheatretickets.com. More information is available at carsonschool.unl.edu.


Ticket prices are $18; $16 faculty/staff, senior citizens, active military; and $12 students with ID and members of OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute). Ticket reservations are recommended. All seating is general admission.


HAMLET is directed by Wesley Broulik, Assistant Professor of Practice in Acting and Directing at the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. Broulik sets his production in 1959 in an all-girls Catholic school in New England. “The old priest has passed away, a young priest has taken his place at the school, and the girls are forced to read HAMLET in detention.”


Why an adaptation of HAMLET and why a cast comprised almost entirely of women?

Broulik explained, “It’s the year of the Shakespeare 400 (400 years since his death) and I felt it was important for us [UNL’s Johnny Carson School] to produce a Shakespeare as a part of our season. In regards to HAMLET specifically, it’s a very approachable and accessible play, and people know it. I was also trying to find a play that would allow me to create opportunities for young women…I have a responsibility to create more opportunities for women with the art I make as much as possible. In HAMLET there is definitely a theme of one generation versus the next and this strange group of friends who surround Hamlet and those relationships and that opened up the door to adaptation and coming up with a creative framework to support the gender swapping.”


Why 1959 and why a Catholic girls’ school?

Broulik said he “chose 1959 because the U.S. was a country poised and ready for a lot of change; the sexual revolution, race relations and the civil rights movement. A lot of change was occurring. The same is true of HAMLET, Denmark is a country in flux…also 1959 was the year The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly died in a plane crash over Iowa. I wanted to use a Buddy Holly song in the show so I felt it was appropriate. I chose a Catholic school because of The Ghost and the religious, spiritual, and supernatural elements of HAMLET.”



Cast members are all theatre majors in the performance emphasis.

Hamlet is played by Emily Blythe and Ophelia by Kate Schini. Claudius is played by Clayton Shellgren and Getrude by Taylor Winks. Luke Morken plays Polonius and Julia Utter is Laertes. Other cast members include: Amy Almond, Tatianna Hizar, Michelle Ingle, Lindsey Parodi and Karen Richards.


Production Team

HAMLET’S fight director is Professor Paul Steger assisted by undergraduate student Julia Utter (performance emphasis). Assistant Director is undergraduate Katie Triplett (directing/management emphasis) and musical director is Nick Prior (performance emphasis).


Costumes/hair/makeup are designed by Haley Williams and lighting is designed by Maxx Finn, graduate students in the Design/Technology program. Finn designs lights for this production in partial fulfillment of his Master of Fine Arts degree in Stage Design.


Scenery is designed by Kaitlyn Peterson and sound is designed by Emily Callahan (both in the design/technology emphasis), with original music composed by Cambria Butcher (Music Education major), all undergraduates. The production is stage managed by undergraduate Kayleigh Kullmann (directing/management emphasis).