ASF Presents Bedlam's HAMLET And SAINT JOAN
Alabama Shakespeare Festival, in partnership with Bedlam theatre company, presents William Shakespeare's Hamlet and George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan in repertory on the Octagon Stage beginning September 5 and running through October 6.
Bedlam was founded in New York City in 2012, producing Shaw's Saint Joan with only four actors playing more than 25 characters. Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal was an early admirer, describing it as "Thrilling! An unforgettable show! The most exciting George Bernard Shaw revival I've ever seen, bar none." In 2013, Bedlam produced William Shakespeare's Hamlet with the same four actors, again playing more than 25 characters. Ben Brantley, the head theatre critic of The New York Times, wrote, "Every member of Bedlam hears voices. Not of God and his saints, but of Shaw (who probably would have said that's the same thing) and Shakespeare...anyone who listens to the eminently sane and persuasive voices of Bedlam is destined to become a convert."
ASF Artistic Director Rick Dildine saw both productions early in their runs and was instantly captivated by the company's imagination and commitment to plays with heightened language. "With a passion for Shakespeare and Shaw, this company of artists is imaginative, ambitious, and committed to Great Performances. There are no dull moments in a Bedlam show," said Dildine.
Bedlam Artistic Director Eric Tucker, who has been hailed as the "best classical director of his generation," promises audiences an unforgettable experience. "A truly great play will do the work for you if you don't overcomplicate it. We present these two plays simply and with very little in the way of sets, costumes, or props and let the great writing take center stage," said Tucker.
Dria Brown portrays Joan in Saint Joan and Gertrude, Ophelia, and others in Hamlet. Her credits include the national tour of Bedlam's Hamlet and Saint Joan, Cadillac Crew at Yale Rep, and The Revolutionists at Gulfshore Playhouse.
New York-based actor Mike Labbadia appears as Cauchon, Poulengey, and others in Saint Joan and Claudius, Rosencrantz, and others in Hamlet. Previous theatre credits include Hedda at Bridge Production Group and Strictly Dishonorable at the Attic Theater Company.
Edmund Lewis plays Dauphin and John de Stogumber in Saint Joan and Polonius, Horatio, and others in Hamlet. Edmund is a founding member of Bedlam, having most recently appeared in their production of Uncle Romeo Vanya Juliet. Other Bedlam productions include Twelfth Night / What You Will, New York Animals, Peter Pan, and Sense & Sensibility.
The role of Hamlet is portrayed by Andy Rindlisbach. In Saint Joan, he appears as Dunois, Warwick, and others. Andy is a resident artist with Riot Act Theatre and has worked at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Pioneer Theatre Company.
The Hamlet and Saint Joan creative team includes Director/Costume Designer/Sound Designer Eric Tucker, Assistant Directors Juliana Beecher and Nathan Winkelstein, Scenic Designer John McDermott, Lighting Designer Les Dickert, Stage Manager Hannah-Jean Farris, and Production Assistant Katie An Siegel.
Hamlet and Saint Joan are presented on the Octagon Stage. Tickets start at $26. To purchase, call 334.271.5353, visit the ASF Box Office (open Monday - Saturday, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.), or go online: ASF.net. Evening performances begin at 7:00 p.m.; matinees start at 2:00 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays and at 3:00 p.m. on Sundays.