West Virginia’s only Shakespeare Troupe to perform Hamlet at Glenville State

GLENVILE, W.Va. — Vintage Theatre Company’s Founding Producer and Artistic Director Jason A. Young cordially invites audiences to attend a performance of The Rustic Mechanicals’ Antic Disposition Tour of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Their season of performances will make a stop at Glenville State College on Sunday, October 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Auditorium. Admission is free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The performance is provided free courtesy of GSC’s Theater Department and the Student Activities Office.

Hamlet has the world at his feet: He is young, wealthy, and living a hedonistic life studying abroad. Then word reaches him that his father is dead. Returning home, he finds his world is utterly changed, his certainties smashed, and his home a foreign land. Struggling to understand his place in a new world order, he faces a stark choice of submitting or raging against the injustice of his new reality. As relevant today as when it was written, Hamlet confronts each of us with the mirror of our own morality in an imperfect world.

The Rustic Mechanicals, co-founded by Young and Celi Oliveto, is the state’s only professional Shakespeare troupe. Now in their fifth season, The Rustic Mechanicals have grown from a troupe of seven actors to this year boasting a roster of nearly thirty West Virginia artists.

Daniel Crowley headlines the production in the eponymous role of Hamlet.

“This is the most challenging role I have ever tried to wrap my mind around,” said Crowley. “Every time I encounter the text I discover a new motive, tactic, double entendre, or meaning. I completely understand why it is the Holy Grail for young actors.”

Audiences will also see Sarah Smith as Ophelia, Josh Brooks as King Claudius, Cassandra Hackbart as Queen Gertrude, John O’Connor as the doting Polonius, and Sean Marko as his son Laertes. Justin Grow and Kyle Stemple will appear as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as well as Marcellus and Barnardo. James Matthews is taking on the roles of the Ghost, the Player King, and the Gravedigger while Sarah Young will appear as Horatio. Rounding out the cast is Samantha Huffman as the Player Queen and a servant.

Young directs the production with Technical Direction by David Byard, Costume Design by Jason Noland, Fight Choreography by Millie Omps, Dramaturgy by John Shirley, and with Tommy Schoffler serving as the production’s Movement Coach and Celi Oliverto serving as the troupe’s Acting Coach.

“It’s an honor to work with such talented, dedicated individuals,” said Young. “This show requires actors to put themselves in really difficult situations emotionally. To tell this story, people need to perform outrageous, almost fantastical situations but root all their emotional content and behavior in reality. It’s a challenging piece, and I’m grateful that these Mechanicals are more than up to the challenge.”

For more information about The Antic Disposition Tour of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, email VintageTheatreCo@gmail.com or call 1-855-VTC-8588.

“Touring Shakespeare is a 400-year-old-tradition,” said Young. “These troupe members understand the nobility of the work and the heritage that they are a part of. I fully expect this tour to be a labor of love for us all.”

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