Double Vision: Plays Offer Two Views of ‘Hamlet’

The Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts presents a modified version of the Shakespearean classic, “Hamlet,” set in the Holy City. Most people are familiar with the Bard’s tale in which young Hamlet reconsiders many things about a world he only thought he understood in ways that are often ironic and always desperate. Fans know that there is a pair of characters in the play – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern – who seem relatively ignorant about what might be “rotten in the state of Denmark.” It is these two characters around whom playwright Tom Stoppard built a wildly imaginative play that the College will present alongside “Hamlet,” titled “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” In this play, the audience sees the story of “Hamlet” from a very different point of view.

 

HAMLET
Revenge can be hard. Especially when you’re prompted to your revenge by what appears to be the ghost of your father. Reset in an old single house in Charleston, S.C. in the early 1900s, Hamlet takes an in-depth look at family, revenge, and the politics of a decaying society.

Guest director Adam Knight (Signature Theatre, Folger Shakespeare Theatre) leads a stellar cast of faculty, students, and alumni from the College, featuring alumnus David Lee Nelson (Hamlet), Evan Parry (Claudius), Joy Vandervort-Cobb (Polonius), Glenda Byers (Gertrude) and Ryan Gunning (Ophelia). The production takes place at the Chapel Theatre, 172 Calhoun Street, and runs from August 8-11 with a second run August 22-27. Show times are 7:30 p.m. except for Sunday shows at 3 p.m. only. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for Senior Citizens and College of Charleston students, faculty and staff. Season subscriptions are available. Purchase tickets online or by calling (843) 953-6306.

ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD

The pairing of “Hamlet” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” is natural and clearly not a new idea. Most recently, the Acting Company has taken productions of both on a national tour. “Hamlet” is arguably the greatest tragedy ever written and explores many universal themes – “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” explores many of those same themes with a comic tone and by turning “Hamlet” inside out. The opportunity to see both of them together only magnifies their themes. The show runs August 15-18 with a second run August 29-September 3. Show times are 7:30 p.m. except for Sunday shows at 3 p.m. only, in the Emmett Robinson Theatre (Simons Center for the Arts), 54 Saint Philip St. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for Senior Citizens and College of Charleston students, faculty and staff. Season subscriptions are available. Purchase tickets online or by calling (843) 953-6306.

THE SHAKESPEARE PROJECT
Founded in the summer of 1997, the Shakespeare Project at the College of Charleston has presented 28 productions, which includes productions of 23 of Shakespeare’s plays. It is the oldest and longest running theatre group in Charleston regularly producing Shakespeare and has the long-term goal to eventually present at least one production per summer for free and outside on the College’s Cistern yard.

 

PRESS:

The Post and Courier, August 18, 2013

CharlestonScene, August 8, 2013

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