HAMLET

by William Shakespeare
directed by Jonni Pera and Traci Brant

>July 10 - 11, 2015
Free park performances Downtown Valparaiso
Central Park Plaza, Porter Health Amphitheater

>July 17 - 25, 2015
Ticketed performances at Chicago Street Theatre

Considered by many to be the “Greatest Play in the English Language,”  Hamlet tells a story of mystery, murder, and madness as the Prince of Denmark must avenge his father’s death and unlock the dark conspiracy that leads him to members of his own family. 

Play Synopsis:  

Prince Hamlet’s student friend, Horatio, goes to the battlements of Denmark’s Elsinore castle late at night to meet a guard, Marcellus. He tells him about a ghost they have seen that resembles the late king (Hamlet’s father). It reappears and they decide to tell the Prince Hamlet. Claudius (Hamlet’s Uncle), having become king, has now married Hamlet’s widowed mother, Gertrude.

In the court, King Claudius addresses his subjects and dissuades Hamlet from returning to school. Hamlet still mourns his father’s death and hearing of the ghost from Horatio he determines to see it for himself. Laertes, son of Polonius, departs for France, warning his sister, Ophelia, against thinking too much of Hamlet’s attentions.

The ghost appears to Hamlet and tells him that he was murdered by Claudius. The prince swears vengeance and his friends are sworn to secrecy as Hamlet decides to feign madness while he tests the truth of the ghost’s allegations. He rejects Ophelia, as Claudius and Polonius spy on him seeking to find a reason for his sudden strange behaviour. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, former student friends of Hamlet, are summoned by Claudius and their arrival coincides with that of a group of travelling actors. The prince knows these players well and they rehearse together before arranging to present Hamlet’s choice of play before the king and queen, which will include scenes close to the circumstances of the old king’s death. At the performance Hamlet watches closely as Claudius is provoked into interrupting the play and storming out, resolving to send the prince away to England. Hamlet is summoned by his distressed mother and, on the way he spares Claudius whom he sees kneeling, attempting to pray. To kill him while he is praying would send his soul to heaven rather than to the hell he deserves.

Polonius hides in Gertrude’s room to listen to the conversation, but Hamlet detects movement as he scolds his mother. He stabs the concealing tapestry and so kills the old man. The ghost reappears, warning his son not to delay revenge, nor to upset his mother.

Claudius sends Hamlet to England and orders his death, but Hamlet discovers the plan. Outwitting this plot Hamlet returns alone, sending Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths in his stead. During Hamlet’s absence Ophelia goes mad as a result of her father’s death and she drowns.

Hamlet returns and meets Horatio in the graveyard where they meet a gravedigger. During Ophelia’s funeral, Hamlet confronts Laertes. A duel is arranged between Hamlet and Laertes at which Claudius has plotted for Hamlet to die either on a poisoned rapier, or from poisoned wine. During the match, Laertes wounds Hamlet with the poisoned rapier, but they change weapons in a scuffle and Laertes is wounded with the poisoned rapier as well. Drinking from the poisoned cup that Claudius has prepared for Hamlet, Gertrude dies. Before dying, Laertes admits the whole plan to Hamlet. Hamlet kills the king and afterwards dies himself, overcome by the poison. With his last breath, he asks Horatio to tell his story.

Fri, July 17: Party at Bon Femme

Fri, July 24:  Happy After-Hours at Tommy B's

The Cast:

  • Justin Treasure as Hamlet
  • David Pera as Claudius
  • Lisa Formosa-Parmigiano as Gertrude
  • Mike Johnson as Polonius
  • Jason Kaplan as Laertes
  • Caity Mullen as Ophelia
  • Dan Matern as the Gravedigger / Player 2
  • Dexter Pritchard as the Ghost
  • Michael Pals as Horatio
  • Glenn Silver as Guildenstern
  • William Carns as Rosencrantz
  • Jim Drader as Osric / Player 1
  • Kevin Perry as Marcellus / Lucianus / Sailor / Player 3