SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY’S 2006-2007 SEASON ENDS WITH

Hamlet

BY William Shakespeare

Directed by MICHAEL KAHN

 

Featuring Jeffrey Carlson and Robert Cuccioli

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Shakespeare Theatre Company ends its 2006-2007 season with William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. For more than 400 years, Hamlet’s exploration of life, love, duty and vengeance has captivated audiences. Commanded by his murdered father’s ghost to seek revenge, Hamlet struggles with the human and spiritual costs of pursuing justice. Directed by Michael Kahn, the production runs from June 5 to July 29, 2007. Kahn directs a cast that includes Michelle Beck, Kenajuan Bentley, Jeffrey Carlson, Robert Cuccioli, Robert Jason Jackson, Pedro Pascal, Ted van Griethuysen and Janet Zarish. The production is the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s final offering in the citywide Shakespeare In Washington celebration.

Production support for Hamlet is provided by New York Private Bank and Trust and the Howard P. Milstein Foundation. Media partner Washington Flyer provides promotional support throughout the run.

Upon returning home after his father’s death, Hamlet discovers that his mother, Gertrude, has married his uncle, Claudius. The ghost of Hamlet’s father reveals that he was murdered by Claudius and demands that his son take revenge. Hamlet then plots to uncover the guilt of his uncle and the possible complicity of his mother. In his attempts to find the truth, Hamlet spurns his love, Ophelia, who is driven mad by his rejection and his murder of her father, Polonius. Hamlet’s erratic, dangerous behavior provokes Claudius and Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, to conspire against him. The play ends with a duel and the deaths of Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius and Hamlet.

“For me, Hamlet is the story of a young man experiencing everything for the first time: death, love, betrayal,” said director Michael Kahn. “Confronted with the loss of his father and a desire for revenge, Hamlet struggles to act, to restore order to a chaotic world.”

Kahn, artistic director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, previously directed Hamlet for the Company in 1992-1993, in a production featuring Tom Hulce in the title role.

 

THE CAST

For this production, Jeffrey Carlson returns to play Hamlet. Carlson made his Shakespeare Theatre Company debut in the title role of Lorenzaccio. His Broadway credits include Taboo, Tartuffe and The Goat or Who Is Sylvia? He was seen at the McCarter Theatre in the title role of Emily Mann's production of Romeo and Juliet and in their recent mounting of Candida. He played Prince Hal in the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s production of Henry IV, which traveled to the Royal Shakespeare Company.  His other theatrical credits include Bach at Leipzig, The Miracle Worker, Thief River, Manuscript and Sodom and Gomorrah. He recently portrayed a transgender character on All My Children.

Robert Cuccioli returns to play Claudius. Cuccioli made his Shakespeare Theatre Company debut in Lorenzaccio as the Duke. Cuccioli earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his work in Jekyll and Hyde; and he won the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle awards for that performance as well. He appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables and off-Broadway in Jaques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Temporary Help, Enter the Guardsman, And the World Goes ‘Round, Gigi and The Rothschilds. His regional credits include performances with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Papermill Playhouse, McCarter Theatre and Guthrie Theater. He has been featured in touring productions of Jekyll and Hyde and Camelot.

Michelle Beck makes her Shakespeare Theatre Company debut as Ophelia. She has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Mile Square Theatre, Theater for a New City, Sakas Theater, Flea Theater, and many more.

Kenajuan Bentley makes his Shakespeare Theatre Company debut as Laertes. Bentley has performed with Shakespeare and Company, Theater for a New Audience, New York Shakespeare Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, Center Stage, Connecticut Repertory and TheatreWorks USA, among others.

Robert Jason Jackson makes his Shakespeare Theatre Company debut as Polonius. He has appeared on Broadway in Aida and Hedda Gabler and Off-Broadway in A Soldier’s Play, The Merchant of Venice and The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. His many regional credits include performances with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Folger Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Kennedy Center and American Shakespeare Theatre.

Pedro Pascal returns to play Horatio. Pascal has appeared in the Company’s productions of Lorenzaccio and Ghosts. Pascal performed Off-Broadway in Some Men, Beauty of the Father, The Bald Soprano, Troilus and Cressida and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean. Regional credits include performances with International City Theater, Portland Center Stage, Merrimack Repertory and Mark Taper Forum, among others.

Ted van Griethuysen returns to play the Ghost, First Player and the Gravedigger. Van Griethuysen last appeared with the Company as Holofernes in Love’s Labor’s Lost.  Other recent Company credits include performances in The Persians, Lorenzaccio, Macbeth, Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2 and The Silent Woman. Van Griethuysen’s Broadway credits include roles in Romulus, Inadmissible Evidence and Galileo.  He also has appeared Off-Broadway at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Eastside Playhouse, Opposites Company, Roundabout Theatre Company and La MaMa, and in regional productions at the Folger Theatre, Studio Theatre and Long Wharf Theatre, among others.

Janet Zarish makes her Shakespeare Theatre Company debut as Gertrude. An experienced acting teacher, Zarish has performed on and off Broadway, starring in such productions as Other People's Money, Miss Julie and An Enemy of the People. From her association with Circle Rep and Ensemble Studio Theatre, she has originated roles in many new plays, working with such writers as David Mamet, Shel Silverstein, Wendy Wasserstein and Terrance McNally. She was an original member of John Houseman's The Acting Company under Houseman's direction. Regional theatre credits include Long Wharf Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Hartford Stage, Seattle Repertory, Berkshire Theatre Festival and the Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival. Film credits include The Next Best Thing, Object of My Affection, Malcolm X, Danny, Mystic Pizza, Without a Trace and Square Root of Three.

 The cast also includes J. Clint Allen as Guildenstern, James Denvil as the Player King, Bill Largess as Osric, Kenneth Lee as Fortinbras, Roland Sands as Voltemand, David L. Townsend as Rosencrantz, Craig Wallace as Marcellus and ensemble members Maria Kelly, David Murgittroyd, Erskine Ritchie, Ben Rosenblatt, Nick Vienna and Chris Whitney.

 

THE DESIGNERS

For the production, Kahn and his designers have created a modern world evoking the secrecy and mystery of this royal court. Set Designer Walt Spangler has designed an abstract set of smoky glass corridors overhung with bare branches. Spangler’s Shakespeare Theatre Company credits include The Tempest, Ghosts, The Winter’s Tale, The Duchess of Malfi, Hedda Gabler, Timon of Athens and Coriolanus. He also has designed for Broadway’s Hollywood Arms and for The Public Theater, Atlantic Theater Company and Playwrights Horizons, among many others. Costume Designer Murell Horton has designed contemporary suits and gowns for the lead characters. For the play-within-a-play, he has created a series of Kabuki-style costumes, which will be complemented by puppets created by designer Aaron Cromie. Horton’s Shakespeare Theatre Company credits include Titus Andronicus, Lorenzaccio, Richard III, The Silent Woman, Hamlet, Hedda Gabler and Camino Real. He also has designed for The Acting Company, Indiana Repertory, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Juilliard School and Pearl Theatre.  Charlie Morrison will design the lighting for the production. Morrison’s Shakespeare Theatre Company credits include An Enemy of the People, Othello (2004) and The Tempest (2004), and he served as associate lighting designer for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2 The design team also includes Composer Adam Wernick, Sound Designer Martin Desjardins, Fight Director David Leong, and Resident Voice and Text Coach Ellen O’Brien.

 

MEDIA PARTNER

Washington Flyer Magazine returns as Media Partner for this production.  Washington Flyer first served as media partner for the 2006 production of Love’s Labor’s Lost. Media partners play an instrumental role in helping the Shakespeare Theatre Company to facilitate its ever greater need to expand its marketing reach.

America’s premier airport magazine, Washington Flyer has been distributed within Dulles International and Reagan National airports since 1989.  More than four million passengers travel through these two airports each month and 2,000 of them pick up Flyer every day.

Under the leadership of editor Lauren Paige Kennedy, Washington Flyer offers locals and visitors the best in restaurants, cultural events, domestic and international travel and other lifestyle stories. Monthly promotions with partner airlines offer readers free tickets to destinations all around the world.  Washington Flyer is proof that the best things in life really are free.

More than just a great magazine, Washington Flyer is a true travel portal for people traveling in and out of the world’s most important city. It is published bimonthly and is available online at www.washingtonflyer.com.

 

SHAKESPEARE IN WASHINGTON

All the city’s a stage in 2007 as Washington, D.C., launches a six-month tribute to William Shakespeare. From January through June, more than 60 arts organizations will come together for Shakespeare In Washington, a landmark festival of theatre, music, dance, films and art exhibits at venues throughout the D.C. area. Spearheaded by Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Michael Kahn, the festival coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Shakespeare Theatre Company programs offered as part of Shakespeare In Washington are supported in part by American Express through the Performing Arts Fund. For more information on the festival’s events, please visit ShakespeareInWashington.org.

 

SPECIAL PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS

·         On Sunday, June 10, at 1 p.m., the Shakespeare Theatre Company continues Windows, a lively discussion and introduction to Hamlet with local scholars and members of the artistic staff.  All are welcome.  Call 202.547.1122 and press 4 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org to reserve a space.

·         Following the evening performance of Hamlet on Wednesday, June 13, all are welcome for a post-show discussion with members of the cast. Those attending the evening’s performance are guaranteed seats. Limited additional seating is available on a first-come basis.  Call 202.547.1122 for the approximate start time. No reservations required.

·         On Saturday, July 14, following the 2 p.m. matinee, the Shakespeare Theatre Company sponsors Classics in Context.  This lively discussion features scholars and artists discussing their connection to the play.  Call 202.547.1122 and press 4 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org to reserve a space.

·         On Friday, July 20, at 11:30 a.m., the Shakespeare Theatre Company will offer a Bard Lunch Discussion. Titled “Hamlet: Analysis Paralysis in Decision-Making,” the discussion will examine the relevancy of Hamlet in its own time and ours. Facilitator Ken Adelman, a Trustee of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, taught Shakespeare at Georgetown and George Washington Universities. Tickets are $10 each – box lunch included. To reserve, please call 202.547.1122 option 3.

·         There will be audio-described performances of Hamlet on Saturday, June 30, at 2 p.m. and Thursday, July 5, at 8 p.m.  Sign-interpreted performances are Tuesday, July 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 14, at 2 p.m.


 

FACT SHEET: Hamlet

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Michael Kahn

 

The Shakespeare Theatre Company ends its 2006-2007 season with William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. For more than 400 years, Hamlet’s exploration of life, love, duty and vengeance has captivated audiences. Commanded by his murdered father’s ghost to seek revenge, Hamlet struggles with the human and spiritual costs of pursuing justice. Directed by Michael Kahn, the production runs from June 5 to July 29, 2007. Kahn directs a cast that includes Michelle Beck, Kenajuan Bentley, Jeffrey Carlson, Robert Cuccioli, Robert Jason Jackson, Pedro Pascal, Ted van Griethuysen and Janet Zarish. The production is the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s final offering in the citywide Shakespeare In Washington celebration.

 

DATES:            June 5 to July 29, 2007

                        Press Night: Sunday, June 10, 2007

                        Opening Night: Monday, June 11, 2007

 

LOCATION: Shakespeare Theatre Company, 450 7th St. NW, between D and E streets, just off Pennsylvania Avenue, between the Capitol and the White House.

 

TIMES: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. (except June 12 and July 4); Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 7:30 p.m.; matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. (except June 10); matinee at noon on Wednesday, July 18; evening performance on Monday, July 2, at 7:30 p.m.

 

TICKETS: $19-$76.25 with discounts available for senior citizens and students.

 

ACCESSIBILITY: The Lansburgh Theatre is accessible to persons with disabilities, offering wheelchair-accessible seating and restrooms, audio enhancement, and Braille and large print programs.

·         On Sunday, June 10, at 1 p.m., the Shakespeare Theatre Company continues Windows, a lively discussion and introduction to Hamlet with local scholars and members of the artistic staff.  All are welcome.  Call 202.547.1122 and press 4 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org to reserve a space.

·         Following the evening performance of Hamlet on Wednesday, June 13, all are welcome for a post-show discussion with members of the cast. Those attending the evening’s performance are guaranteed seats. Limited additional seating is available on a first-come basis.  Call 202.547.1122 for the approximate start time. No reservations required.

·         On Saturday, July 14, following the 2 p.m. matinee, the Shakespeare Theatre Company sponsors Classics in Context.  This lively discussion features scholars and artists discussing their connection to the play.  Call 202.547.1122 and press 4 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org to reserve a space.

·         On Friday, July 20, at 11:30 a.m., the Shakespeare Theatre Company will offer a Bard Lunch Discussion. Titled “Hamlet: Analysis Paralysis in Decision-Making,” the discussion will examine the relevancy of Hamlet in its own time and ours. Facilitator Ken Adelman, a Trustee of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, taught Shakespeare at Georgetown and George Washington Universities. Tickets are $10 each – box lunch included. To reserve, please call 202.547.1122 option 3.

·         There will be audio-described performances of Hamlet on Saturday, June 30, at 2 p.m. and Thursday, July 5, at 8 p.m.  Sign-interpreted performances are Tuesday, July 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 14, at 2 p.m.

 

PARKING: Paid parking is available in the PMI parking garage on D Street, between Eighth and Ninth streets, and the Colonial Parking garage in the Lansburgh building (enter on Eighth Street between D and E streets).

 

METRO: Archives-Navy Mem'l- Penn Quarter station (Yellow and Green Lines) is one and one-half blocks south of the theatre. Gallery Pl-Chinatown station (Red, Yellow and Green Lines) is one block north of the theatre at the Verizon Center. For further information, call Metro at 202.637.7000.

 

Box Office: 202.547.1122 (voice) TTY: 202.638.3863 Toll Free: 877.487.8849

ShakespeareTheatre.org