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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Theatre and Dance

GRAVEDIGGER'S TALE Comes to Longstreet Theatre | April 21-23

Admission is free for this dynamic one-man retelling of "Hamlet" from the perspective of the Gravedigger character.

The UofSC Dept. of Theatre and Dance

Gravedigger's Tale

An Interactive Retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet

Conceived and Directed by
Robert Richmond

Performed by
Louis Butelli

April 21-23, 2016

Longstreet Theatre
1300 Greene St.

Show Times:

6pm nightly

Free Admission

Sponsored in part by

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 8pm nightly 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 with Gravedigger’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

Watch the video below for a taste of what's in store!