Meet the Hamlet Cast: Adam Tran

July 11, 2014

AdamTranAdam Tran (Laertes) found his theatrical
leanings fairly early on. He played the Spider
who scares away Miss Muffet in his
Kindergarten play and received quite
the ovation. From there he went on to do
a slew of roles throughout his schoolboy days,
culminating with his artful and heartbreaking
portrayal of Nana in Peter Pan his senior year.
He went on to do many roles in college,
a few in Indianapolis at various junctures
(most recently as Sebastian in Twelfth Night
at IndyFringe and as Skyles in Defiance Comedy’s
Boyband!), made a foray into film (as a principle
in an indie short crafted by Chris White and a
supporting character in the pilot of The Celebrant
created by Rae Dawn Chong), and has arrived here
in the role of Laertes.


How are Adam and Laertes alike and how are you different?

Laertes is a lot like me. He’s a bit devil-may-care in his general outlook on life in the beginning of the play which I can relate to. He and I also share a great protective love of our younger sisters. I can also relate to his hot-headed impulsiveness in the latter part of the play brought on by his heartbreak over losing a family member as he slowly feels his world crumble around him. I don’t really know that he and I are too different other than the fact that he allows his rage quite a bit more oxygen whereas I try to rationalize mine.

What do you love (and hate) about your character?

I love Laertes’ ability to completely express his feelings with complete and utter disregard to decorum. This is also a quality which I tend to feel some contempt for but only because I wish I were as emotionally liberated as he seems to be.

What do you think will surprise people about AUP’s “The Tragedy of Hamlet”?

I think people will be surprised by the performances of the cast. There are some beautifully unique performers in this cast and I think that’s what breathes life into these characters who have been portrayed so many times in so many different ways.

Why did you want to be involved in this production?

I wanted to be involved both for the cast and the director. There are a number of actors in this cast whom I’ve wanted to work with for quite some time and I’ve wanted to work with Brian since he started his company, it just needed to be the right show and I think this fits the bill.

How is this production bringing something new to the story of Hamlet?

Well the first and obvious nuance that this production brings is the setting. The political backdrop lends itself quite perfectly to the story. And second, again, I think it’s the individuals who are finding new ways to bring the characters to life.

Favorite line of dialogue:

I’ve always been a sucker for the line “to thine ownself be true”.  My girlfriend even had it inscribed on a lighter for me.

What makes a good scene partner?

Trust. Above all else a scene partner who you can trust is most important to me. You have to trust that they’ll save you in an emergency of course, but there’s also a great amount of trust in vulnerability onstage and, in the case of this show, I have to trust that my partner won’t hit me with a sword.

Tell us about another cast member and what you enjoy about working with them.

Oy vey, I know a lot of people are probably going to give this answer, but this being my first time to work with her I have to commend Lauren. Whether dialogue or sword play I find her to be one of the most giving and vulnerable actors I’ve shared the stage with. That being said This question could have been pages long, there is really some beautiful work being done among this cast.

What inspires you?

Oh everything and everyone inspires me. It’s hard to not be inspired if you just take a peek at the world around you. My girlfriend, my family, my friends, my past teachers, other actors, animals, wind, sunlight, darkness, basically all the things we come in contact with any given day and we often let them go unnoticed or unappreciated. I’m trying to be more conscious about gratitude.

What do you do when you’re not doing theatre?

I write (as it’s my job now), I recently picked up weightlifting (actually to prep for an audition for next year), I try to find time for my girlfriend (both of our schedules are a bit hectic this summer), and I try to see my family as often as possible.

What is the last thing you do before you step out on stage?

That depends on the show and the dynamic established by the cast, crew and director. Often I say a quick prayer, or I’ll try to think of an Elvis song which fits the show and hum a bit of it. I come up with some cockamamie little ritual for every performance.

What would you tell someone who has never seen live Shakespeare about why they should come to this production?

I would tell them that it’s a great story and there’s really a little something for everyone: Political scandal, hilarity, a great love story, a bit of sword fighting, some heavy drama, and a ghost! Where else can you find all of that outside of a Monty Python or obscure fetish film?


The Tragedy of Hamlet will be presented Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., July 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 (Sunday rain dates 13, 20, 27) at the outdoor Allen Whitehill Clowes Amphitheater on the campus of Marian University, 3200 Cold Spring Road, Indianapolis. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets may be purchased below or by calling the AUP box office at 317-207-2135 or online at Audience members will want to bring blankets or chairs. Candy, popcorn, soda and water will be provided for sale. The Tragedy of Hamlet is a summer production you won’t want to miss.