New Interpretation of HAMLET Comes to The CENTER in Rhinebeck

Performances begin on Friday, March 8th, for a limited three-week engagement.

By: Feb. 26, 2024
New Interpretation of HAMLET Comes to  The CENTER in Rhinebeck
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Shakespeare's iconic tragedy Hamlet opens at The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck on Friday, March 8th, for a limited three-week engagement.

Adapted and directed by Lou Trapani, this "Hamlet" is set in 2024 and, as Shakespeare would say, "holds the mirror up to nature." It is ignoble, mean-spirited, conniving, and fraught with danger. The Danish prince is not a hero: he is a bi- polar youth surrounded by dishonesty, greed, adultery, and the dogs of war.

The actors are on a bare stage, in modern dress, with images of 20th Century black-and-white skyscrapers and banquet halls behind them. They carry cell phones and martini glasses and some are heavily armed. The musical score is haunting and, as in Shakespeare's time, the lighting is sharp and relentless. There is no softness in this production, there is no daintiness, there is no rest.

With an ensemble cast, this production features women in traditionally male roles but not as women: as characters, pure and simple. Each actor speaks in contemporary mode: no grandiose speechifying or soliloquies presented as arias. Rather, the language is precise and with a contemporary lilt and filled with the ambiguity of our dissembling age.

A play for the here and now: an unstable boy, a vicious uncle, an unfaithful mother, an abused girlfriend, a scheming politician, a former friend now out for blood, and school chums who are not chums at all. And yes, there is a ghost; for what would "Hamlet" be without the memory of a father murdered for political gain.

Performance Schedule: Friday, March 8th through Sunday, March 24th
Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm
Sundays @ 3pm

The Creative Team and Cast:

CENTERstage Productions presents William Shakespeare's "Hamlet," adapted and directed by Lou Trapani.

The talented cast includes Peter "Yurble" Kiewra as Hamlet, Elaine Young as Gertrude, Jeremy Ratel as Claudius, and Katie-Beth Anspach as Ophelia.

Harrison Mark as Laertes, Ben Parish as Polonius, and Cora Colwell as Horatio bring depth to the supporting characters. Jessica Boyd and Emily DePew as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Brigid Slattery as Marcellus, and Madison Cannella as Bernardo excel in their performances. Rik Lopes, Russ Austin, and Michael Brunetti captivate in dual roles.

Supported by a crew including Linda Herzlinger, Janey Langan, Anita Kiewra, Heidi Johnson, and Marie Weinfurt.