Gravedigger’s Tale, Interactive Retelling of Hamlet, Performs at Longstreet Theatre April 21-23

The 40-minute one-man show is presented as part of the celebration of Shakespeare First Folio exhibition at the University of SC

The UofSC Department of Theatre and Dance will host Gravedigger’s Tale, an interactive retelling of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, April 21-23 at Longstreet Theatre. Show time is 6pm nightly and admission is free, with seating available on a first-come basis.  Longstreet Theatre is located at 1300 Greene St.

In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, the Gravedigger appears briefly in Act V to perform a comic exchange with a fellow gravedigger before speaking to Hamlet and presenting him with the jester Yorick’s skull.  In this production, the Gravedigger arrives with a trunk and a book and answers “questions” from the audience with pieces of text from Hamlet. 

Conceived and directed by Robert Richmond (Folger Theatre’s Julius Caesar, Richard III, Henry V and more) and performed by Louis Butelli, this forty-minute interactive audience experience combines the text from Hamlet with some original and traditional music.  The short run-time makes it a perfect companion piece to the University’s production of The Tempest, being presented at Drayton Hall Theatre at 8pmnightly during the run of Gravedigger’s Tale.  Tickets for The Tempest can be purchased by calling 803-777-2551, beginning Friday, April 8.

Gravedigger’s Tale is being presented as part of the celebration of the Shakespeare First Folio exhibition at the University.  The University of SC was chosen as the only location in SC to exhibit the First Folio, which is on a nationwide tour sponsored by Washington DC’s Folger Shakespeare Library (owner of the largest collection of surviving Folios in the world).  The First Folio will be on display at Thomas Cooper Library from April 14-30.  More information on the Folio exhibition can be found online at

Butelli is no stranger to the University theatre program, having most recently directed the Moliére adaptation Scapin, which ran at Longstreet Theatre in February.  He is currently on a national tour withGravedigger’s Tale for the Folger Shakespeare Library.  Butelli has appeared in several productions of Shakespeare’s works for the Folger Theatre, winning a prestigious Helen Hayes Award in 2012 for his work in Henry VIII (directed by Richmond).  Cyclops: A Rock Opera, an original musical co-created by Butelli through his production company, Psittacus Productions, received a Pulitzer Jury nomination in 2012.  

For more information on Gravedigger’s Tale, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at