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October 30, 2019 : I Hate Hamlet: A Comedic Twist on a Shakespearean Classic Opens November 7

by Colton Smock 


hamletThe cast and crew of Ohio University-Lancaster’s newest production I Hate Hamlet are working hard as opening night approaches fast on November 7th. I Hate Hamlet is a stage adaptation of the comedic, yet dramatic play written by Paul Rudnick. It follows Andrew Rally, a popular television actor who struggles with being cast in his dream role of Hamlet. Director A. Victor Jones is bound to put on another brilliant and hilarious performance with this twist in Shakespearian comedy.


With the opening week approaching fast, the cast and crew are putting their final touches on the show. Since the closing of Legally Blonde: The Musical in the summer, many wondered what was next for Ohio University-Lancaster’s theatre program, yet Director Jones already had a plan in mind with I Hate Hamlet. When asked about how he chose this show specifically Director Jones thought that I Hate Hamlet would be, “the perfect comedy for our students.” As this is the 10th Anniversary of Ohio University-Lancaster’s Theatre Program under Director Jones’ supervision, he wanted to do something special too. His idea? We wanted to include alumni guests into every production, and that is exactly what he decided to do with Connor Daugherty and Cathy Bitler. Director Jones describes the show as, “a fun fast paced comedy. It’s full of surprises by the cast, and by our talented guest artists.”


The lead role of Andrew Rally is being played by Ohio University-Lancaster freshman Bryce Motter. Although this is his first production at OUL, this is not his first time being involved with theatre. Bryce has been involved in theatre throughout his time in high school and thought he would love to try it out in college as well. For him, Bryce thinks that the most gratifying part about performing is, “seeing the play in its entirety and watching your audience enjoy the show and laugh and smile.”


The role of Felicia Dantine is being played by Emily Bartholic, a Junior at Ohio University- Lancaster majoring in Theatre, Communications, and Management. Emily describes her role as Felicia as, “a super quirky character who claims she can speak to the dead.” She portrays the production as, “a fun show that I think everyone can enjoy; it is filled with a lot of unusual characters and circumstances guaranteed to garner a few laughs.” Emily also loves when a show comes to completion and is ready to be shared with the public. She describes the feeling as, “very rewarding when the whole show is put together and is finally put on for an audience; the end result is definitely worth all the hard work that goes into it all semester.” Emily had a self-described “late start” to getting on stage, but it is something that she has wanted to do ever since she was a child. The last production she appeared in was The Drowsy Chaperone, which opened over a year ago. Needless to say Emily is excited and ready to get back on stage as Felicia Dantine in I Hate Hamlet.


Another rookie actor comes in the form of Samuel Barkley, a freshman at Ohio University-Lancaster. Samuel is playing the role of Gary Peter Lefkowitz, a writer, producer, director for multiple television shows in Hollywood. He wishes people would come see the show to, “experience laughter and enjoyment of theater in it of itself.” Samuel credits his love for acting to his family, and also thinks that the cast, crew, and anyone involved in the production is, “fun to interact with.”


Abby Reeves is playing the role of Deidre McDavey, the girlfriend of Andrew Rally who is emotional, attractive, and “saving herself” for marriage. Abby is a sophomore at Ohio University-Lancaster who plans on majoring in Communications with a minor in Theatre. Abby accredits Ohio University-Lancaster’s production of Moon Over Buffalo for her decision to bring her education to the university. She, “fell in love with the set and the lighting and I knew this school would be my new home.” Abby has also been seen in Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical and, most recently, Legally Blonde: The Musical. Abby also believes that the theatre brings people together, “become a family when you work this closely with others and it really is magical. 


Cathy Bitler is playing the role of Lillian Troy, Andrew’s agent and one of John Barrymore’s former love interests. Cathy has earned her B.S. and M.A. in Communications both from Ohio University. Cathy is a guest alumni performer for I Hate Hamlet and hopes to, “get involved in community theatre in retirement.” She also went on to talk about Director Jones’ invitation to join the cast of I Hate Hamlet and how it, “came on the heels of my appearance in a Garrett Players production this year, so I guess you could say I am living my dream.” Finally, when asked why people should attend the show, Cathy responded in a touching manner, “The show is both funny and touching.  People will find it makes for an enjoyable evening out. But maybe more than that, seeing the show helps support students interested in the arts.  We are blessed to have so many talented people in our community.  The theatre program at OUL helps keep the arts alive.” Come see I Hate Hamlet and help support the arts and the theatre program!


Connor Daugherty is playing the role of John Barrymore, a ghost that haunts Andrew in his apartment and eventually teaches him how to act in a Shakespearean play. Connor is also a guest alumnus cast member in the production, and when he read the script, he, “fell in love with the story and the characters. He just, “had to be a part of this experience.” Connor is one of the more experienced actors on the stage, as I Hate Hamlet will be his seventh production at OUL. He started his acting career in high school and extended it through college, eventually making it his major. Connor graduated from Ohio University with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. Lastly, Connor has a message to all aspiring actors, “if they ever want to be onstage and perform, to not let their nerves get the best of them. OU-L fosters a community every summer for actors of all ages to discover and experiment with fun, popular musicals. And even if they don't live near Lancaster, there's always some community theatre near them that they can participate in. It's even more fun to be on that stage than in the audience. So be brave and act.”


I Hate Hamlet opens on November 7th, 2019 and runs until November 10th, 2019 at Ohio University-Lancaster’s Wagner Theatre. Tickets are now on sale and available for purchase online at and at the Ohio University-Lancaster Box Office. You can contact the Box Office at (740) 681-3353 or in person Monday-Friday 12:00-4:00 p.m. The Box Office is located in the Lancaster campus’s north lobby in front of Wagner Theatre, 1570 Granville Pike, Lancaster, Ohio. Tickets can also be purchased an hour before each production. For more information about I Hate Hamlet, including show times and production details, please visit the theatre program website at or contact Theatre Director and Lecturer A. Victor Jones at Enjoy the show!