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Actors' Shakespeare Project Opens 13th Season with HAMLET

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Actors' Shakespeare Project (ASP) has earned its reputation for performing the works of William Shakespeare with clarity and focus on language, emphasis on the characters' journeys, and a commitment to remain actively itinerant. The 13th season will exemplify ASP's vision for presenting Shakespeare, with productions of HAMLET, THE TEMPEST (Directed by Allyn Burrows; December 1, 2016 - January 8, 2017; Willet Hall at United Parish, Brookline), Christopher Marlowe's EDWARD II (Directed by David R. Gammons; February 22 - March 19, 2017, Charlestown Working Theater), and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Directed by Patrick Swanson, May 10 - June 4, 2017, Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge). For more information visit actorsshakespeareproject.org.

According to Artistic Director Allyn Burrows, "We didn't choose the titles for ASP's 2016-17 season solely on their common threads of familial antipathy, schisms, and misunderstanding; but we know such stuff makes for damn good storytelling. Hence the season's theme of Family Fault Lines that run throughout the season, small cracks that as they grow and spread, should offer up a hot buffet of dialogue through mirth, machination, and family madness."

HAMLET BY William Shakespeare

Under the direction of Resident Acting Company (RAC) member Doug Lockwood, HAMLET, featuring other RAC members Omar Robinson* (Hamlet), MariAnna Bassham* (Gertrude), and Richard Snee* (Polonius) will run October 5 - November 6, 2016 (Press performance October 8, 2016 at 8PM) at Church of the Covenant, 67 Newbury Street, Back Bay Boston. Hamlet Schedule & Ticket Information and HAMLET PROJECT EVENTS.

Additional cast members include Peter G. Andersen (Horatio), Rory Boyd (Player King), Poornima Kirby (Ophelia), Ross MacDonald* (Claudius), and Alexander Platt (Laertes), with other roles played by the ensemble.

The creative team includes Jenna McFarland Lord (set designer), Deb Sullivan* *(lighting designer), TBA (costume designer), Arshan Gailus (Sound Designer), Ted Hewlett (violence designer), Annie Thompson (vocal coach).

Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's most well known tragedies, with immortal lines and haunting stories. Tormented by his father's untimely death, the young prince Hamlet struggles to discern reality from illusion in the rotten state of Denmark, as he copes with the loss of his father, his mother's remarriage, romantic complications, friendly betrayals, and reflections on life's biggest questions. For centuries, audiences have seen themselves in the brilliant, troubled prince at the center of this mix of ghost story, comedy, seven-murder revenge thriller, and philosopher's gold mine.

According to Director Doug Lockwood, his approach begins in defining unique perspectives on both the text, and the environment the production creates for its audience. "My edits of the script really seek to put the focus on the family and the friendships in Hamlet's life. At the end of the play, Hamlet urges Horatio to live and 'tell my story'. That is what I see as the leaping off point for this production. It is really Horatio's memory of the events that happened."

"The world of this play is the beautiful Church of the Covenant on Newbury Street (photo above). Spiritual strains and conflicts throughout the text in this holy space will enhance Shakespeare's words," adds Lockwood. "A key source of inspiration in staging the play has been the film 'Queen Margot' by Patrice Chereau, and its depiction of the late 16th Century religious war between Protestants and Catholics. This singular place inspires us to conjure images of claustrophobic purgatory and a church filled with ghosts-while the church organ enhances the atmosphere."
ASP's production is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About: Actors' Shakespeare Project is an award-winning professional theater company with a Resident Acting Company and extensive education, youth and community programs. ASP performs and works in found spaces, schools, theaters and neighborhoods to present and explore the robust language, resonant stories, and deeply human characters in Shakespeare's plays and in works by other great playwrights. Our work is ensemble-based and focused on intimacy, storytelling, language, relationships, voice, risk and artistry within and throughout the Boston area. For more information visit actorsshakespeareproject.org.

*A Member of the Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.
**Member of United Scenic Artists Local 82


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