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Continued: Stage: Fresh Ink series at Illusion Theater in Minneapolis

  • Article by: ROHAN PRESTON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 11, 2013 - 3:29 PM

Hatcher has become one of the most visible playwrights in the Twin Cities by working nationwide, doing both original works and adaptations. He just returned from New Orleans, where he has been working on a stage adaptation of John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces.” The 1980 novel, which won a Pulitzer Prize posthumously, has bedeviled adapters in the past and is considered something of a cursed project in Hollywood.

“Fresh Ink has been a lucky venue for me,” Hatcher said. “Most of the shows [that began there] have gone on and done very well.” That roster would include “Three Viewings,” which started there, “No Strings” and “Good and Plenty.”

He also gets to be onstage for “Hamlet.” In the past decade or so, Hatcher’s stage roles have been few. He acted in Willy Russell’s “Educating Rita” for Torch Theater back in 2006.

“Theaters are not calling to see me,” he said wryly.

He is delighted to be onstage and to talk about Hamlet, a character he thinks is misapprehended by not just the public but by directors, as well.

“Almost every Hamlet that we can find a photograph of is sleek, slim, blond, lithe,” he said. “The trend has been to cast a Mr. Athlete for the dueling scene, for the fight choreography. But if Hamlet is that powerful and that sleek, why is no one afraid of him?”

Hatcher thinks it makes more sense that Hamlet be played by a pudgy, bespectacled actor, like Simon Russell Beale or himself (from fifth grade and today).

“Hamlet has unseen qualities,” he said. “I say, well, the pudgy kids can do it, too. So take heed, you trim and athletic young people, the fat days are coming.”

 

Rohan Preston • 612-673-4390

  • related content

  • Max Wojtanowicz and Cat Brindisi in "Fruit Fly: The Musical," part of the Illusion's Fresh Ink series.

  • “Jeffrey Hatcher’s Hamlet” is a one-person play sparked by something that happened to him in fifth grade.

  • Leslye Orr shares stories of her childhood in “What I Thought I Saw: Random Acts of Blindness.”

  • WHAT I THOUGHT I SAW: RANDOM ACTS OF BLINDNESS

    Who: By Leslye Orr. Directed by Zaraawar Mistry. First show in Fresh Ink series.

    When: 8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 7 p.m. Sun.

    Where: Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.

    Tickets: $12-$17. 612-339-4944 or www.illusiontheater.org.

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