Catch CCM’s 150th Anniversary Mainstage Series opening production of Hamlet at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28. Presented in the newly renovated Patricia Corbett Theater, the Bard’s classic tragedy runs through Sunday, Oct. 1. Tickets available through the CCM Box Office.
Set in the 1920s, CCM’s production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet tells a story of lost romance, betrayal, murder and madness. Hamlet Fight Choreographer Gina Mechley gives audiences an inside look at how she prepared students to illustrate the play’s conflict with stage combat.
This is Mechley’s first show at CCM as a fight choreographer, but she is no stranger to the realm of stage combat. She is currently teaching at CCM as an adjunct instructor. One of the few female certified teachers in the country with the Society of American Fight Directors, Mechley has served as the fight director at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati Ballet Company and the Cincinnati Opera, among others. Get a sneak peek at CCM’s Hamlet in the photo gallery below:
Working on CCM’s production of Hamlet has been “the icing on the teaching cake,” Mechley says. She adds that her job was made easier because CCM Acting students are heavily trained in stage combat.
The intensive training in CCM’s Acting program is designed to prepare students for careers on stage, film, television and in the creation of new works. The curriculum includes training in various acting techniques, dialects, voice-over work, as well as armed and unarmed stage combat.
Hamlet Director Susan Felder set CCM’s production of the play in the 1920s, but the contemporary setting does not dramatically change the tragedy’s violent climax that occurs when Hamlet confronts his enemies in Act II.
“Being set in the 1920s did not have a huge impact on the final duel,” Mechley says. “We are still using rapiers as a part of the sport or game that will unfold. Textually, it is set up as a contest and the use of swords would remain the same no matter what year it takes place.”
Mechley’s favorite moments in Hamlet’s fight choreography are when the fights get “close, personal and sloppy.” She looks forward to seeing how the audience will react to certain moments in the stage combat.
The most challenging aspect of the fight choreography was transferring what was learned in the rehearsal hall to the stage, Mechley adds. Hamlet‘s set includes steps and a trap door that opens to a 3-to-4-foot hole at center stage, which is used during the fight scenes.
“Fight direction is about storytelling — physically expanding on an emotional journey,” Mechley says. “The fights in Hamlet are so heavily based in character-driven emotion, that it just didn’t feel right to create a fight from only my viewpoint. It had to be created from the eyes of the director, the heart of Laertes and Hamlet, the physical souls of the actors and the skills of a fight director.”
“Collaboration created what I believe to be an extraordinary journey!”
CCM’s Mainstage Series presents Hamlet through Oct. 1, 2017 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID. Additional student discounts are available through the CCM Box Office. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/hamlet.
Learn more about CCM’s Acting program at ccm.uc.edu/acting. Applications are now open for CCM’s fall 2018 class; apply online at ccm.uc.edu/info.html.
- Susan Felder, director
- Logan Greenwell, scenic designer*
- Oliver Tidwell Littleton, lighting designer*
- Matthew Birchmeier, sound designer*
- Ashley Berg, costume designer*
- Meredith Keister, hair and make-up designer
- Gina Mechley, fight choreographer
- Anna Naderer, stage manager*
* CCM student
- Chandler Bates as Bernardo/Ensemble
- Jeremy Maislin as Francisco/Priest/Ensemble
- Gabriella DiVincenzo as Horatio
- Will Clark as Marcellus/Ensemble
- Carter LaCava as Ghost/Gravedigger/Ensemble
- Landon Hawkins as Claudius
- Ella Eggold as Gertrude
- Briley Oakley as Lord Voltemand/Ensemble
- Madison Pullman as Cornelius/Messenger/Ensemble
- Rupert Spraul as Hamlet
- Isaac Hickox-Young as Lord Polonius
- Nicholas Heffelfinger as Laertes
- Kenzie Clark as Ophelia
- Josh Reiter as Rosencrantz
- Matt Fox as Guildenstern
- Mafer Del Real as Player King/Ensemble
- Sarah Durham as Player Queen/Ensemble
- Abby Palen as Gravedigger/English Ambassador/Ensemble
- Jacqueline Daaleman as Osric/Ensemble
- Lauren Carter as Fortinbras/Ensemble
- 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28
- 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29
- 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
Tickets to Hamlet are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID. Tickets to the Sept. 27 preview performance are just $15.
Student rush tickets will be sold one hour before each performance to non-UC students for $12 or $15, based on availability. UC students can receive one free student rush ticket with a valid ID, based on availability.
Customizable subscription packages are also available for CCM’s 2017-18 Mainstage Series.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/hamlet.
Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.
For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.
For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s