The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: July 2015
Duration: 4 hours 13 minutes
When veteran award-winning radio theater producer Joe Bevilacqua was a student in his final semester at Kean College in 1982, he produced and directed a radio version of Hamlet.
Casting Kean faculty and students, and portraying the melancholy Danish prince himself, Bevilacqua not only completed his nearly four-hour radio adaption of Shakespeare's greatest work, he did so while carrying a double major; producing, acting in, and sometimes writing radio plays for the WKNJ Radio Theater he founded at the college station; rehearsing and portraying Dr. Martn Dysart in Equus on the Kean Stage; and working twenty hours per week at Kean's Writing and Math Lab. After graduating, Bevilacqua saw his production of Hamlet picked up and distributed by the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) and aired on public radio stations nationwide.
Bevilacqua went on to become one of the most prolific radio drama producers in the United States, as well as an on-camera actor in such films as The Fly Room and The Better Angels and in television shows, including HBO's Boardwalk Empire.
The master reels of Joe Bevilacqua's radio production of Hamlet were lost in the 1980s. On January 6, 2015, while going through some old files, Bevilacqua came across an NFCB newsletter listing a number of his radio dramas, including Hamlet. He then traced the NFCB collection to the University of Maryland Libraries, where it now resides.
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between 1599 and 1602. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet is instructed to enact on his uncle Claudius. Claudius had murdered his own brother, Hamlet's father, and subsequently seized the throne, marrying his deceased brother's widow, Gertrude.
BONUS TRACK: "Another Point of View (Hamlet Revisited)," originally aired on the CBS Radio Workshop June 22, 1956.