In what he wants to be his last acting role at Waynesburg University, senior creative writing major Shawn White was selected to play the role of Hamlet to put an end to his legacy at Waynesburg. According to White, as soon as he heard that the fall show was going to be Hamlet, he was really hoping to get the lead role.
“When I found out that [I got the role as Hamlet] I was just thrilled and speechless,” said White. “My roommate was there when I saw the cast list and I couldn’t say anything I was just so excited.”
There were many challenges that White had to face taking on the role of Hamlet. He said that the two obvious ones were the Shakespearean language as well as the iambic pentameter of the show. However, there was one more challenge according to White that was the most difficult to accomplish.
“The challenge was just trying to portray [Hamlet] in a natural light,” said White. “Hamlet is not a complete psychopath [and] he is not a completely normal guy—he is a very complex individual. So, portraying that line was the challenge, it was something that I had to grow into because I didn’t really get into it naturally.”
Originally when White chose to come to Waynesburg University, he was set on majoring in forensic science, but he then switched to a creative writing major. White also added that he had never been in a play until he came to Waynesburg because his high school only did musicals and he was not comfortable with his singing and dancing.
“[For me] it’s just the idea of being someone else and entertaining an audience that always appealed to me,” said White. “I did speech and debate in high school so, it was sort of similar [to theatre] I guess in some aspects, and that love I had for getting up in front of a crowd just carried over into theatre.”
Some other plays that he has been in during his time at Waynesburg were Fools, which is a comedy, and Frankenstein, as well as some other one acts. White also added that his one act that he wrote for Professor of Theatre Edward Powers’ class will be performed this winter.
After White graduates from Waynesburg University, he hopes to become a professional actor. White said that he has already auditioned at Little Lake, a theater production company back in White’s hometown, Washington, Pennsylvania, and received some call backs, but was unable to be in any plays due to his unavailability.
“After school, I am going to take some time to work, because I need some money first of all, and then I am going to try and apply to some acting school,” said White. “I would love to apply to Julliard and get into there, but it is just a dream and a dream I would like to have.”
White also would like to thank everyone who came out and saw ‘Hamlet’ last week and hopes that people keep coming to shows at the university.