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Tonight is Opening of SAU Play Season with ‘I Hate Hamlet’

Tonight is opening night of Southern Arkansas University’s exciting play season with “I Hate Hamlet,” a comedy by Paul Rudnick.
(Front) Christian Williams, junior from Hope, Ark., as Andrew Rally, and  Sterling Davis, sophomore from Marshall, Texas, as John Barrymore. ( Lera Black/SAU Communications of dress rehearsal for “I Hate Hamlet” )
(Front) Christian Williams, junior from Hope, Ark., as Andrew Rally, and Sterling Davis, sophomore from Marshall, Texas, as John Barrymore. ( Lera Black/SAU Communications of dress rehearsal for “I Hate Hamlet” )
 (right to left) Christian Williams, junior from Hope, Ark.as Andrew Rally, Sterling Davis, sophomore from Marshall, Texas, as John Barrymore, and Kaylee Vance, senior from Texarkana, Ark., as Deirdre McDavey. (Lera Black/SAU Communications of dress rehearsal for “I Hate Hamlet” )
(right to left) Christian Williams, junior from Hope, Ark.as Andrew Rally, Sterling Davis, sophomore from Marshall, Texas, as John Barrymore, and Kaylee Vance, senior from Texarkana, Ark., as Deirdre McDavey. (Lera Black/SAU Communications of dress rehearsal for “I Hate Hamlet” )
MAGNOLIA – Tonight is opening night of Southern Arkansas University’s exciting play season with “I Hate Hamlet,” a comedy by Paul Rudnick.

This play is presented in ¾-round on the Harton stage, so seating is limited for this production. But tickets are still available at www.showtix4u.com or by calling (870) 235-4256.

The box office opens at SAU’s Harton Theatre nightly at 6 p.m. tonight through Saturday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and curtain time is 7 p.m. General admission is $6; children and students and SAU employee price is $3.

In this play, Andrew Rally seems to have it all: celebrity and acclaim from his starring role in a hit television series; a rich, beautiful girlfriend; a glamorous, devoted agent; the perfect New York apartment; and the chance to play Hamlet in Central Park.

There are, however, a couple of glitches in paradise. Andrew's series has been canceled; his girlfriend is clinging to her virginity with unyielding conviction; and he has no desire to play Hamlet. When Andrew's agent visits him, she reminisces about her brief romance with John Barrymore many years ago, in Andrew's apartment. This prompts a séance to summon his ghost.

From the moment Barrymore returns, dressed in high Shakespearean garb, Andrew's life is no longer his own. Barrymore, fortified by champagne and ego, presses Andrew to accept the part and fulfill his actor's destiny.

The action becomes more hilarious with the entrance of Andrew's deal-making friend from LA, spouting the laid-back hype of the Coast and offering Andrew a fabulous new TV deal worth millions of dollars. The laughs are nonstop as Andrew wrestles with his conscience, Barrymore, his sword, and the fact that he fails as Hamlet in Central Park.

Clayton Guiltner, SAU’s director of theatre and assistant professor of acting and directing is determined to draw more campus and regional community members in hopes of filling the seats for all of the performances slated for this year’s play schedule. The Department of Theatre and Mass Communications at SAU is built on a history of success.

With engaging acting classes, academic travels such as the annual “New York Performance Project” trip, and acting experiences the Department has not only gained attention in the region, but has prepared young actors to chase their dreams. Amanda Cannon, 2012 Outstanding Student from the College of Liberal and Performing Arts, attended the New York trip in 2011 and returned to the Big Apple after graduation to be a full-time actor.

Four students will be traveling next week for the 2013 “New York Performance Project” where they will attend rehearsals for The Strindberg Project under the direction of Guiltner in Times Square with professional actors. They will also participate in the Grex Group Theatre's Insomniacs 24 Hour Play Festival. In addition, they will be meeting one-on-one for a question and answer session with a Broadway actor currently performing in The Book of Morman about careers in New York and with the head wardrobe assistant for NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

According to Guiltner, performance and learning opportunities beyond the classroom at SAU, such as the “New York Performance Project,” are invaluable to the student success.

For more information about the SAU Department of Theatre and Mass Communication, visit www.SAUmag.edu/tcm.

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