Join us for Deborah Staples return to play Shakespeare's most well-known prince. Hamlet will run from July 7th-August 13th. Directed by Leda Hoffmann.
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” After the death of his father, the King of Denmark, Prince Hamlet is not only in mourning but is troubled by the hasty marriage of his mother, Queen Gertrude, to his uncle Claudius, who has become the new King of Denmark.
Claudius is concerned with Norway’s young prince, Fortinbras, who has assumed the throne after his father’s death in battle with King Hamlet. To avoid trouble with Norway and to reign in the rowdy Fortinbras, Claudius sends two ambassadors to finesse the political relationship. Also leaving court is Laertes, on his way to France, who suggests his sister Ophelia be wary of her courtship with Hamlet. Their father, Polonius, echoes these concerns and tells Ophelia to cut off contact with Hamlet.
In the meantime, Hamlet’s friend Horatio and the castle guards tell him that they have witnessed a mysterious apparition at night. When Hamlet sees the apparition himself, he realizes it is the spirit of his deceased father, who tells Hamlet that his brother Claudius was his murderer. He implores the young prince to seek revenge against Claudius. Hamlet feigns madness – an “antic disposition” – to allow him to more easily observe and investigate Claudius, causing confusion and worry throughout the castle. The King and Queen enlist Hamlet’s childhood friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to spy on him.
When a group of players arrive at court, Hamlet persuades them to perform a play called The Mousetrap. Claudius becomes nervous when he realizes that the play recreates his murder of the late King, and the Queen becomes visibly upset. Hamlet goes to speak to his mother and Polonius hides to spy on their conversation. Hamlet thinks it is Claudius when he hears a noise. He stabs the culprit, and stabs Polonius.
This transgression cements Claudius’s plan to rid Denmark of Hamlet, and he sends Hamlet to England, accompanied by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who carry a letter instructing the King of England to have Hamlet killed. Already distrusting his former friends, Hamlet finds the letter and revises it, instructing that they be killed instead. Meanwhile, at the death of their father, Ophelia becomes increasingly distressed, and Laertes becomes enraged. When the Queen reveals that Ophelia has drowned herself, Laertes’ desire for vengeance flares.
As Hamlet returns to Denmark, Laertes attacks him. Hamlet is stunned both by the death of Ophelia and the wrath of his friend, and they soon arrange to settle matters with a display of sword fighting. The King and Laertes devise the duel as a means to kill Hamlet, and they secretly poison the tips of the swords to ensure Hamlet’s demise. As a back-up plan, the King also poisons a drink should Laertes fail in his fight. However, their plans backfire and the death toll rises in the play’s tragic conclusion.
Listed in alphabetical order
|*Chris Amos||Player King/Cornelius|
|Laura Bouxsein||Ensemble/Fourth Player/Lady in Waiting|
|Olivia Candocia||Ensemble/Lady in Waiting|
|Paul Henry||Third Player/Barnardo|
|Alex Levy||2nd Gravedigger|
|Mark Tyler Miller||Fortinbras/Priest|
|Eliza Stoughton||Player Queen/Gentlewoman|
|Laura Bouxsein||US Player Queen/Marcellus/Voltemand|
|Olivia Candocia||US Ophelia|
|Paul Henry||US Horatio|
|Isaac Hickox-Young||US Guildenstern/2nd Gravedigger|
|Robert Hunter-Bry||US Rosencrantz/Fortinbras/Priest/Francisco|
|Alex Levy||US Hamlet|
|Forrest Loeffler||US Laertes/Player King/Cornelius|
|Carlos Medina-Maldonado||US Polonius/Gravedigger|
|Thomas Russell||US Osric/Third Player/Barnardo|
|Eliza Stoughton||US Gertrude|
|Jonah Winston||US Claudius/Ghost|
*denotes member of Actor's Equity Association
The Pantagraph: To Be a Man or Not: For HAMLET actor, only truth matters.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel As Hamlet, Deborah Staples embodies a longing to connect