Tennessee Shakespeare Company's
plays in an elegant Edwardian production
Memphis' Dixon Gallery and Gardens
TN (February 25, 2013)
– – Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South's professional
classical theatre, presents a special, limited engagement of William
Shakespeare's Hamlet inside Dixon
Gallery and Garden's Winegardner Auditorium from April 3-14 in Memphis.
Directed by TSC's Founder and
Producing Artistic Director, Dan McCleary (The
Tempest, Glass Menagerie, Macbeth, Othello, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's
Dream, As You Like It), this elegant Edwardian production is generously
sponsored by Independent Bank and Ann & Wellford Tabor. The exclusive media sponsor is Commercial
Hamlet features a professional AEA company
of twelve actors and musicians from around the country and Memphis. Widely considered the most important play in
western civilization, Hamlet has
contributed to how humankind considers ourselves and our place and act in the
The Winegardner Auditorium's period
appearance will be further enhanced as an Edwardian stage with early 19th
century lighting fixtures, theatrical stage, and live music played in an
intimate setting for an audience of 150 in stadium seating.
(Please Note: All scheduled school
matinees are sold out, and multiple matinees are being added to accommodate as
many students as possible. Public performances
are also beginning to sell out.)
The Hamlet that audiences are familiar with today likely was first
performed in 1601 and very likely with Shakespeare playing the Ghost of
Hamlet's father. There is also
compelling evidence, together with multiple quarto versions of the script and
of the story both extant and not, that Shakespeare was writing his Hamlet over 11-12 years – a period
during which he lost both his father and his son.
The pre-existing story to
Shakespeare's is a revenge play centered by a tragic hero, or anti-hero. But just as Shakespeare deepens existing
themes and characters' development in all of his plays taken from previous
writings, here he dramatically shifts perspective in Hamlet from that of familial revenge demanded from the grave to a
philosophical questioning of the meaning of our humanity and authenticity of
The young Prince Hamlet returns home
from college when his father is discovered dead at Elsinore Castle in
Denmark. Hamlet's uncle, Claudius, has
murdered King Hamlet and immediately married his widow, Queen Gertrude. The Ghost of King Hamlet asks his son to
avenge his murder, a visitation which the Prince shares only with his closest
Casting off his love Ophelia and feigning public madness, Hamlet nevertheless is action-less regarding his father's demand. In considering his mortality, his father's, and that of his usurping uncle, Hamlet confronts his mother only to mistakenly murder Ophelia's father, Polonius. The King banishes Hamlet to England, with a mortal decree that ensures he will never return, during which time Ophelia goes mad and drowns by her own hand or another's.
In a matter of weeks, Hamlet has
escaped and been saved by pirates on the sea.
Upon his return, he is a decade older with a changed philosophy secretly
watching Ophelia's graveside burial.
Laertes, the son of Polonius and the brother of Ophelia, in murderous
coordination with the King, challenges Hamlet to a sporting duel which turns
into a bath of poison for all but Horatio and Hamlet's Norwegian counterpart,
Fortinbras. The young, fatherless Prince
ascends the Denmark throne, lamenting the loss of the man who would have been
"I do believe William Shakespeare was
writing his play over the course of 12 or more years as he emerged as a
playwright and became a fatherless son and sonless father," says director, Dan
McCleary. "There are two very distinct
Hamlets in the play, and I believe they are of two different periods in
Shakespeare's life. If this is so, it is
genius, of course. It has compelled us
for over 410 years to question our humanity, to seek our true nature, and to
discover our authentic act in the world.
In fact, seeking the latter forged the creation of Tennessee Shakespeare
Company six years ago."
The cast introduces New York's Brian Sheppard as Hamlet,
Brooklyn's Piper Goodeve in the traditionally male role of Horatio,
Massachusetts' Bob Lohbauer at Polonius, New York's Eva Balistrieri as Ophelia
and Steven Patterson as Claudius, and TSC's Stephanie Shine as Gertrude.
Returning to TSC are Memphis' Phil Darius Wallace (The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A
Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It) as the Ghost, Player King, and
Gravedigger; Brooklyn's Gabriel Vaughan (The
Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It) as Laertes; Washington,
DC's Amelia Hammond (It's a Wonderful
Life, Complete Works, The Tempest) as Rosencrantz and Osric; and New York's
Trevor Pittinger (It's a Wonderful Life)
as Guildenstern and Fortinbras.
Playing live on stage during the
production on cello is Iren Zombor (Julius
Caesar) and local pianist Steven DiBlasi.
Compositions will include those by Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, and
The returning design and consultancy team includes Memphians
Bruce Bui (costumes), Matthew Strampe (scenic and lighting), and Kristen Greene
(properties), as well as Virginia's Cara Rawlings (fight choreography) and
Vancouver's Neil Freeman (First Folio).
Ms. Zombor is the show's Music Arranger.
tickets are on sale now, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at TSC's office
located at 2260 West Street in Germantown or by calling 901-759-0604, or by
going on-line to www.tnshakespeare.org.
Tickets for all
performances are $25 in advance and $30 day-of-show. Tickets for the Wednesday, April 3 and
Thursday, April 4 Preview performances are only $15, regardless of when
purchased. Thursday, April 4 and
Thursday, April 11 are Free Will Kids' Nights: Children 17 years and younger
are admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian.
Public Performance Schedule at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens
Wednesday, April 3 at 7:00 pm Preview
Thursday, April 4 at 7:00 pm Preview and Free Will Kids' Night
Friday, April 5 at 7:30 pm Opening Performance and Pre-Show Revels Party
Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 pm Performance
Sunday, April 7 at 3:00 pm Performance
Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 pm Free Will Kids' Night
Friday, April 12 at 7:30 pm Performance
Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 pm Performance
Sunday, April 14 at 3:00 pm Closing Performance
Tickets on sale
now. All performances are $25 in advance
and $30 day-of-show. All preview
performances are $15 regardless of when purchased. Free Will Kids' Nights: Children 17 years and
younger admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian every
Thursday. All Dixon members receive 20%
off their tickets.
Box Office/Administrative Office
Located in the historic train depot at 2260 West Street, Germantown, TN. Monday - Friday, 9am – 5pm.
All performances are general admission; first come/first seated. Chairs are provided for all productions. Free parking. No refunds. Cast and schedule are subject to change.
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