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BOLIVAR, Mo. – Southwest Baptist University Theatre will present an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s, “Hamlet,” at 7 p.m., Nov. 12-14, and at a special matinee performance at 2 p.m., Nov. 15, in the Davis-Newport Theatre on the Bolivar campus.
One of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies, “Hamlet” is a beautifully written play with a depth of emotion and wit. “Hamlet” also marks the second production of SBU Theatre’s 2020-2021 season titled “Perseverance.”
Adapted by senior Alexa Joy Bell, the SBU production will feature a gender swap of several characters, including the title role of Hamlet, as well as Horatio, Laertes, Ophelia, among others.
“Classical Theatre is something I’m very passionate about, but it is not known for excellent female roles,” Bell said of wanting to incorporate the gender swap. “I wanted the opportunity to have really strong roles that were played by women in this show.”
To help with the inclusion of performers wearing masks, according to SBU Coronavirus safety guidelines, this production of “Hamlet” has been displaced in the 1920s during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The utilization of full-face-coverings have encouraged actors to dive deeper into physical movement, vocal variety and learning how to not depend on their faces as their only way of communicating.
SBU Theatre students are finding normalcy, solace and excitement in returning to live theatre, even with new COVID-19 protocols in place.
“Although it isn't how I pictured this year to go, I am immensely grateful to be back in Davis-Newport Theatre – masks, hand sanitizer, temperature checks and all,” said junior Jessie Paxton, who is playing Queen Gertrude.
Tickets for the production may be purchased in person at the Box Office (located inside the Jester Learning and Performance Center), online at sbuniv.edu/theatre, or by calling (417) 328-1691. Each performance is limited to a 100-seat capacity with masks required for all attendees. A Livestream link is also available for purchase for those unable to attend in person. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for students, senior citizens and SBU alumni, and $4 for current SBU students.
For more information about SBU Theatre and upcoming productions, visit sbuniv.edu/theatre or call (417) 328-1691.