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Tony Winner Darko Tresnjak to Helm Hartford Stage's HAMLET, Starring Zach Appelman, This Fall

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Tony Winner Darko Tresnjak to Helm Hartford Stage's HAMLET, Starring Zach Appelman, This Fall

For his first directing project since winning the 2014 Tony Award, Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak will helm Shakespeare's masterpiece, Hamlet, playing only four weeks, from October 16 to November 16, at Hartford Stage. Hamlet follows three popular Shakespearean productions in the last two years by Tresnjak: The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and last season's Macbeth.

Zach Appelman (Broadway's War Horse, Julie Taymor's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the title role in Henry V at the Folger Theatre) will tackle the title role. Appelman is a graduate of Yale School of Drama. His recent TV and film appearances include "Sleepy Hollow," "Homeland," "Black Box," and the film version of Taymor's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Tresnjak said, "Shakespeare's most famous play is both a bold theatrical thriller and a literary masterpiece. It has captured the imagination of the world, on the page and on the stage, for over four centuries. I look forward to exploring Hamlet with this wonderful acting ensemble headed by Zach Appelman."

In Hamlet, a Danish prince returns home to find his father killed, and his mother marrying the murderer. When his father's ghost rises to demand retribution, Hamlet is put in an impossible situation. In this opulent, Elizabethan staging, Hamlet's tragic tale of revenge will get the full-on, terrifying -- and bloody -- treatment.

Last spring Tresnjak earned the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Direction of a Musical for the Broadway production of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, which he debuted at Hartford Stage in 2012. "Inspired and hilarious," according to The New York Times, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder won a total of four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Robert L. Freedman); and Best Costume Design for a Musical (Linda Cho).

In addition to Appelman, the cast includes Curtis Billings (The Crucible and A Christmas Carol-A Ghost Story of Christmas at Hartford Stage) as Rosencrantz; Kate Forbes (Macbeth at Hartford Stage and The School for Scandal on Broadway) as Gertrude; Edward James Hyland (Arcadia, The Price, and many more on Broadway) as Polonius; Floyd King (30-year regular at Washington, DC, theatres-recipient of five Helen Hayes Awards, plus 16 nominations) as Bernardo/Leading Player; Andrew Long (Shakespeare Theatre Company member, national tour of War Horse) as Claudius; Cliff Miller (The Tempest and Henry IV at Dallas Theatre Center) as Guildenstern; Anthony Roach (The Importance of Being Earnest and All's Well That Ends Well at Shakespeare Theatre Company) as Laertes; James Seol (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way on Broadway, King Lear at Shakespeare Theatre Company) as Horatio; and Brittany Vicars, a recent graduate of The Julliard School, as Ophelia.

Hamlet's creative team includes Tresnjak, Set Designer (set design for Macbeth last season at Harford Stage); Fabio Toblini, Costume Designer (The Tempest and Bell, Book and Candle at Hartford Stage); Matthew Richards, Lighting Designer (Twelfth Night and Macbeth at Hartford Stage); and Jane Shaw, Sound Designer (La Dispute and Macbeth at Hartford Stage last season).

Special Dates:
Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 16
Press Opening: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 22

Special Events:

Sunday Afternoon Discussion
Enjoy a lecture from artists and scholars connected with the production immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, October 21. Free.

LGBT Night Out
On Thursday, October 23, please join us for a pre-show nosh and complimentary wine (plus drink specials at the bar) for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patrons. Event begins at 6:15 p.m. before the 7:30 p.m. curtain. The reception is free with purchase of a ticket for that evening's performance. Special guests will be the organizers of GLSEN CT (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network).

AfterWords Discussions
Join members of the cast and our Artistic staff for a free discussion, immediately following the 7:30 p.m. performances on Tuesday, October 28 and November 4, or the 2 p.m. performance on Wednesday, October 29. Free.

The Producer's Table
On Thursday, October 30, Managing Director Mike Stotts will host a pre-show dinner, where he gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce a play. The backstage tour will begin at 5:45 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. before the 7:30 p.m. curtain. Reservations required. Event tickets are $25. Please note this is an UPPER LOBBY event, accessible only by stairs.

Performances October 16 to November 16 - Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun at 7:30 p.m.-Fri, Sat at 8 p.m.-Sat, Sun at 2 p.m.; Wed matinee at 2 p.m. on October 29 only. Weekly schedules vary. For details, visit www.hartfordstage.org.

Season subscriptions begin at $125 and include six shows: Ether Dome by Elizabeth Egloff; Shakespeare's Hamlet, directed by Darko Tresnjak; Private Lives by Noël Coward, directed by Darko Tresnjak; Reverberation by Matthew Lopez, directed by Maxwell Williams; Mona Golabek in The Pianist of Willesden Lane, adapted and directed by Hershey Felder; and Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate, directed by Darko Tresnjak.

Tickets for all shows start at $25. For group discounts (10 or more) of up to 40% off regular ticket prices, contact Theresa MacNaughton at 860-520-7114. For tickets, call the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit www.hartfordstage.org.

Now in our 51st year, Hartford Stage is one of the nation's leading resident theatres, known for producing innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals, including 68 world and American premieres, as well as offering a distinguished education program, which reaches more than 20,000 students annually.

In 2011, Darko Tresnjak became only the fifth artistic director to lead Hartford Stage. Since then the theatre has presented the world premieres of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by Darko; Quiara Alegría Hudes' Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Breath & Imagination by Daniel Beaty; and Big Dance Theatre's Man in a Case with Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Hartford Stage, under the leadership of Managing Director Michael Stotts, has earned many of the nation's most prestigious awards, including its first Tony Award in 1988 for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Other national honors include Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, OBIE, and New York Critics Circle awards. Hartford Stage has produced nationally renowned titles, including the New York transfers of Enchanted April; The Orphans' Home Cycle; Resurrection (later retitled Through the Night); The Carpetbagger's Children; and Tea at Five.

Follow Hartford Stage at: www.facebook.com/hartfordstage, www.twitter.com/hartfordstage or www.pinterest.com/hartfordstageco.

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