Photo Flash: The Contemporary Theater Company Presents HAMLET By Candlelight
The Contemporary Theater Company is approaching the triumphant conclusion of a very successful production of Hamlet with one last trick up their sleeve. The recently announced final performance on Thursday, November 21 will be entirely lit by candlelight.
"The show is stripped down to its core - no costumes, no lights, just extraordinary actors and an incomparable play," says director Chris Simpson.
The candlelit performance will harken back to earlier eras when only natural light and flames were available for indoor venues. Simpson used candelight for this production's final rehearsal in October "to give the actors a more intimate and intense feel for their characters and relationships", and to foster "a unique, almost sacred energy within the cast just before opening night." The candlelit run was a first for everyone involved, and as soon as company members experienced it they knew that they wanted to do it for an audience.
"It felt truly magical watching it by candlelight," says lighting designer Maggie Cady. "As an audience member, everything felt immediate and the emotions were all heightened. Plus, it's absolutely gorgeous."
Candles will be on small platforms on either side of the stage, keeping actors and audience all safe while creating a soft and beautiful ambiance. The performance is happening with special permission and careful arrangement from the Fire Marshal, who will be in attendance along with an on-duty fire detail, paid for by the CTC.
"This has been a great production for us, and we are happy to create such a unique way to share it with our audience on the final night" says Associate Artistic Director Ashley Macamaux.
Audiences have marveled at how understandable and easily accessible the production is for even folks who don't consider normally themselves Shakespeare lovers.
"We're rooting ourselves in clarity, simplicity, and honesty - no showy, overblown "Shakespearean" acting," says Tammy Brown who is playing Hamlet and also serves as the company's second Associate Artistic Director.
Tickets are available on the theater's website, by calling the box office, or at the theater.
Tickets: Adult - $25, 25 & Under - $15, Senior Sundays - $18,
Previews - Pay-What-You-Can ($18 in advance)
The Contemporary Theater Company Performance Patio, 321 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879
Photo Credit: Seth Jacobson Photography
Tammy Brown, Ben Christie
Ardemis Kassabian, Tammy Brown