Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

Theatre UNO Performs Hamlet

Theatre UNO presents HamletTheatre UNO presents Hamlet, starring Meghan Shea as Hamlet's mother Gertrude and Sam Malone as Hamlet. Photo credit: Jenny Billot

Theatre UNO is pleased to present in November a new production of Shakespeare's Hamlet, directed by visiting artist Jim Winter of Southeastern Louisiana University.

"Our fully immersive production of Hamlet takes the 'play within a play' to a whole new level by exploring the concept that each of us is constantly assuming various roles in our day-to-day lives and relationships," said David Hoover, chair of the UNO Film and Theater Department in a statement. "The idea that humanity poisons one another through our thoughts, words and actions is also explored in this gritty and distinctive interpretation of Shakespeare's most famous tragedy."

The Theatre UNO 2014-2015 seasons includes four plays - a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Shakespearian wonder, a contemporary farce and a French classic - each "carefully selected for this season, with a goal of creating rigorous experiences for students and thoughtful drama for audiences," said Hoover.

Theatre UNO Performs Hamlet

Performances will run at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday Nov. 13-15 and again Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 20-22. A Sunday showing is set at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23. All performances take place in the Robert E. Nims Theatre in the Performance Arts Center on the Lakefront Campus.

Noted Shakespearean scholar, Associate Professor of English Catherine Loomis will present a special pre-curtain lecture at 6 p.m. before the performance on Thursday, Nov. 20.

General Admission $12 / Students & Faculty $8
Online at
Box office: 280-SHOW (7469) or .

In spring, Theatre UNO will perform Melancholy Play: A Contemporary Farce by Sarah Ruhl, which follows a bankteller named Tilly through an emotion-driven adventure with several other characters, and The Misanthrope, a 17th-century comedy of manners written in verse by Moliere.

A Visiting Director

Theatre UNO's production of Hamlet next month is directed by Jim Winter, an associate professor of acting and directing at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he teaches acting and theatre history for Southeastern Theatre. Winter is a professional actor, director, playwright, and producer who also serves as faculty advisor for Southeastern's chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the national theatre honorary. He created Southeastern's annual Theatre Study Abroad program in London, England.

Winter is the author of three theatre textbooks, including the recently published Act One; Scene One: An Actor's Workbook. He founded the James Winter Endowed Theatre Scholarship and The Hymel Falgoust, Jr Scholarship in Technical Theatre at Southeaster and in 2011 received The President's Award for Excellence in Artistic Achievement.

As an actor, he has performed at Madison Square Garden, 13th Street Repertory Theatre, The Hudson Guild, The Kennedy Center, Cleveland Public Theatre, The People's Republic of China and Edinburgh, Scotland. Four of his plays have been published, including Dead Flowers, an alternate to the regional festival for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Winter's plays have been produced in New York, Cleveland, Texas, Louisiana and Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2010, Winter directed the Southeastern Theatre production of the original play, Parking Lot Babies, which won seven national commendations for excellence.

Winter is a founding member of the award-winning InSideOut production company in New Orleans. He is the former Vice Chair of Region VI (Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico) for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. In addition to his full-time duties at Southeastern, Jim is the head of graduate playwriting for the University of New Orleans distance learning program. Jim holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of New Orleans and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Baldwin-Wallace College.

A Rising Star for a Starring Role

Graduate student Sam Malone stars as Hamlet. Malone this month was one of three Theatre UNO members to receive three Irene Ryan Acting nominations from the Kennedy Center for their performance in Rajiv Joseph's Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, in which he played an American soldier who lost his hand in an act of post-traumatic stress folly while serving in Afghanistan.

Since 1972, the Irene Ryan Foundation of Encino, Calif., has awarded scholarships to the outstanding student performers at each regional festival, according to the Kennedy Center communications department. The scholarships honor the late Irene Ryan who portrayed the lovable and feisty 'Granny Clampett' in The Beverly Hillbillies. All student actors in both participating and associate productions are eligible for consideration for these $500 regional scholarships.

Cast and Crew

The all-student cast includes: Jarred Marlatt, Meghan Shea, Stevie Cavalier, Evan Eyer, Trey Lagan, Caitlin Sorbet, David Brown, Lauren Erwin, Peter Smith, Sarah Beth James, Christian Tarzetti and John Charles II.

This production also showcases the work of faculty members Kevin Griffith (Set Design), Diane Baas (Lighting Design) and Tony French (Costume Design), as well as the work of Asher Griffith (Sound Design), Jamie Choina (Makeup Design), Randy Malbrough (Dramaturg), Erick Wolfe (Assistant Director), Jenny Billot (Stage Manager), Misty Gros (Assistant Stage Manager) and Amanda Francis (Assistant Stage Manager).

The award-winning UNO Department of Film and Theatre is a proud member of National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), founded in 1965 to establish national standards for undergraduate and graduate programs in Theatre and Film, and boasts the only NAST-accredited program in the New Orleans metropolitan area.

Theatre UNO is a regular winner at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, an elite year-long competition of university productions from all over the nation, and the University's theater department has produced the highest number of graduates nominated for the city's esteemed Big Easy Entertainment Awards.


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