© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Arts & Culture

Local Playwright Imagines Origins Of 'Hamlet'

A San Antonio-raised playwright comes back to act in his own production at the Playhouse, beginning November 1. David Davalos wrote "Wittenberg," stocking it with historic characters, but with an odd and anachronistic twist.
"'Wittenberg' is is a play that takes the idea that Shakespeare put Hamlet as a student at Wittenberg, Christopher Marlowe put Dr. Faustus as a faculty member at Wittenberg, and of course history puts Martin Luther as a preacher preaching and teaching at Wittenberg" explained Davalos.  "And the play asks: what if they were all there at the same time, before they launched into the stories as we know of them? So it’s a prequel to 'Hamlet,' Dr. Faustus and the Protestant Reformation."

"Wittenberg" has seen successful productions mounted coast-to-coast and from Berlin to Sydney. When possible, Davalos watches those productions. Asked if he ever sees something new or unique that surprises him, Davalos responded, “It happens in every production. There is always some reading of a line, or some staging of a bit of business and I’ll go ‘I had no intention of that, and it’s gorgeous.’ I have not seen—knocking wood—a bad production of the play yet."

Davalos notes that compared to when he went to high school here some two decades ago, theater seems to be booming in the Alamo City.

"It’s great…I think one of the indicators of a healthy cultural community is the amount of theater they’re willing to support."

"Wittenberg" runs at the Playhouse from November 1st - 17th.