Shakespeare’s Hamlet Returns to Gustavus

Posted on May 12th, 2011 by

Christian DeMarais as Hamlet, Photo by Christopher Rodman

Christian DeMarais as Hamlet, Photo by Christopher Rodman

The Department of Theatre and Dance at Gustavus Adolphus College is pleased to present the timeless classic Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare. Directed by Amy Seham, this production will continue this week in Anderson Theatre May 12-13 at 8:00 p.m. and May 14 at 7:00 p.m. (please note special May 14 time)

Perhaps the best-known play in the English language, Hamlet tells the story of a young prince of Denmark who questions the meaning of life as he attempts to understand the murder of his father by his uncle. This production embraces the poetry and passion of Hamlet, and brings Shakespeare’s discussion of “reality” into our own time and space. How has contemporary technology affected our understanding of perception, performance, and truth? How can we, as theatre artists, hold the mirror up to nature? The story is a classic but each new generation discovers a fresh connection with the play on its own terms.

This twenty-first century production of Hamlet incorporates a dramatic and imaginative film component guided by video producer and recent Gustavus graduate, Nick Hansen ‘09. With extensive film footage and security cameras on stage and off, Professor Seham’s production cleverly relates to the influence of modern day reality television, film, and media on culture by engaging with Hansen’s film expertise. The technological aspects of the production allowed for a thorough design collaboration between scenic designer, Lydia Francis ’11, media designer, Micah Maatman, and lighting designer, Terena Wilkens. Adjunct professor, Larissa McConnell, created the Elizabethan-inspired modern costume design, reinforcing the notion that Hamlet, although written centuries ago, can in fact relate to the current world.

The large and talented cast and crew have been preparing for this unique production since February. Senior theatre honors major Christian DeMarais, who will be attending the Yale School of Drama after graduation, plays the title role in Hamlet. The production also features the recent National Champion in Prose at the American Forensics Association National Tournament, Chloe Radcliffe ’12, as Queen Gertrude. Ophelia is portrayed by senior religion major Megan Myhre, a core member of the Gustavus social justice theatre troupe, I Am We Are. With original compositions by senior music major Sean Prichard and professional fight choreography, this artistic collaboration has produced a fascinating and innovative production of the classic story.

Tickets are available on-line at www.gustavustickets.com or at the SAO desk in the Campus Center. Gustavus students and staff free of charge with ID. Tickets not purchased in advance may be purchased at the Anderson Theatre Box Office beginning one hour prior to curtain.

 

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