McCarter to Present Bedlam's HAMLET and SAINT JOAN in Rep

McCarter Theatre Center is starting the New Year with a fresh look at two of literature's most enigmatic and dynamic characters. From January 13 - February 12, the celebrated New York Theater company, Bedlam, makes its McCarter Theatre Center debut with their critically- acclaimed stripped down productions of William Shakespeare's Hamlet and George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan, in rotating repertory.

Known for their innovative, site-specific stagings, Bedlam's Hamlet and Saint Joan are performed by four actors playing all roles; ensemble members Eric Tucker, Andrus Nichols, Edmund Lewis, and Tom O'Keefe rocket from character to character at a lightning-bolt's pace. Bedlam's kinetic performances will bring these classics to life in McCarter's Berlind Theatre where stage and audience will shift from show to show, and from act to act.

In addition to traditional house seating, patrons have the opportunity to purchase seats on stage
for a closer, more intimate relationship to the action.

As Bedlam Artistic Director, Ensemble member, and Director of both Hamlet and St. Joan describes, "For us, it's about making the audience know they're part of the play. Their own placement feeds the energy of the story. As the audience gets moved around, they're sharing the space with us. There's no 'this is your area, this is our area.' This is at the heart of what we do."

Eric Tucker and Andrus Nichols co-founded Bedlam in 2012, presenting George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan on a shoestring budget with only four actors playing over 25 characters. The show received instant recognition and was extended four times.

In 2013, Bedlam produced William Shakespeare's Hamlet with the same four actors, again playing over 25 characters amongst themselves. Hamlet ran in repertory with Saint Joan and both productions were then transferred for a commercial Off-Broadway run at The Lynn Redgrave Theater in the winter of 2013/2014.

Bedlam's shows have been noted as Ben Brantley's "Critics' Picks" for The New York Times six times, noted on The New York Times "Top Ten Best Show Lists" two times, as well as those of The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine respectively. The Wall Street Journal also noted Eric Tucker as "Director of the Year" in 2014. Bedlam has won two Irne Awards, two Off Broadway Alliance Awards and an Obie Grant. Bedlam has also been nominated for two Lucille Lortel awards, a Drama League award, and four Elliot Norton awards, winning for Best Visiting Production and Best Ensemble for Saint Joan.

ABOUT THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM:

Edmund Lewis (Polonius/Horatio and others in Hamlet; Dauphin/John de Stogumber and others in Saint Joan) was seen most recently in Bedlam's acclaimed off-Broadway hit Sense & Sensibility. Prior to that, he played various characters in New York Animals (written by Steven Sater) and appeared as Malvolio in Bedlam's one play/two ways repertory of Twelfth Night and What You Will. A founding member of the company, Edmund acted in the original award-winning runs of Saint Joan and Hamlet, first at the Access Theater and then off-Broadway at the Lynn Redgrave Theater. Other roles include Sebastian in The Tempest (A.R.T., co-directed by Aaron Posner and Teller); Sackville and Mr. Harris in The Libertine (Fools' Theatre, directed by Eric Tucker); Mark in The Philadelphia, Kafka in Words, Words, Words, and Sir Richard Attenborough in Time Flies (Bang Theatre Collective).

Andrus Nichols (Gertrude/Ophelia and others in Hamlet; Joan in Saint Joan) was most recently seen in Ivo Van Hove's A View From The Bridge at The Kennedy Center in D.C. and The Ahmanson Theatre in L.A. Off-Broadway: Sense & Sensibility (Bedlam; Drama League nom., Best Revival; Off-Broadway Alliance Award winner), Hamlet, Saint Joan (Bedlam; Lucille Lortel nom., Outstanding Lead Actress; Off Broadway Alliance Award, Best Revival). New York: Sense & Sensibility, The Seagull, Twelfth Night, What You Will (Bedlam); Hello From Bertha (Pooks Hill); Hamlet (Shakespeare Forum); The Libertine (Fools' Theater). Regional: Hamlet, Saint Joan (Bedlam/Olney Theater Center/Central Square Theater; Helen Hayes and Elliot Norton noms, Outstanding Lead Actress; IRNE Award, Outstanding Visiting Performer); Hamlet (title role), Iphigenia and Other Daughters (We Players/Alcatraz Island); Julius Ceasar; The Rainmaker; The Importance of Being Earnest; others. Andrus cofounded Bedlam with Eric Tucker in 2012. www.andrus-nichols.com

Tom O'Keefe (Claudius/Rosencrantz and others in Hamlet; Cauchon/Poulengey and others in Saint Joan) Off Broadway: Tamburlaine the Great, Bedlam's Hamlet and Saint Joan. Other New York: Dead Dog Park, Bedlam's Twelfth Night and What You Will, The Best of Everything, A Hard Wall at High Speed, A Midsummer's Night Dream, The Libertine. Regional: Outside Mullingar, Richard II, The Taster, Measure for Measure, From Orchids to Octopi, Humble Boy, Questa. TV: Shades of Blue, The Path, CSI, Criminal Minds, E.R., The Shield, Rules of Engagement, Drake & Josh. Film: A New Tomorrow, Avenging Angel, CrashN'Burn, Fill Your Heart with French Fries (short). BA, Pennsylvania State University. JD, Boston University School of Law. Proud member of SAG/AFTRA and Actors' Equity Association. Tom-OKeefe.com

Eric Tucker (Director/Hamlet in Hamlet; Dunois/Warwick and others in Saint Joan) Wall Street Journal Director of the Year 2014. Off-Broadway: Bedlam's Sense & Sensibility (off-Broadway Alliance Award; Lortel nom., Best Director; Drama League nom., Best Revival); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Drama League nom. Best Revival; WSJ Best Classical Production 2015; New York Times Critics' Pick); Bedlam's Saint Joan (New York Times/Time Magazine top 10, Off-Broadway Alliance Best Revival 2014); Bedlam's Hamlet (New York Times top 10, Time Out NY and Backstage Critics' Pick); Tina Packer's Women of Will; The Belle of Belfast. For Bedlam: Dead Dog Park, New York Animals (world premiere by Steven Sater/Burt Bacharach), Twelfth Night, What You Will (New York Times Critics' Picks), The Seagull (WSJ Best Classical Production 2014), Sense & Sensibility (New York Times top 10; New York Times /WSJ/Time Out Critics' Pick), Saint Joan, and Hamlet (NYC and Tour, Elliott Norton Outstanding Visiting Production and Outstanding Ensemble, Boston Globe Top 10). Other: Sense & Sensibility (Folger); Copenhagen (Central Square Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (HVSF); The Libertine (IRNE nomination, Best Director); Hamlet (with William Hurt); Mate (The Actors' Gang), Macbeth (Best Overall Production and Best Director noms L.A. Weekly). Eric received his MFA from the Trinity Rep Conservatory. He resides in New York City where he is Artistic Director of Bedlam.

John McDermott (Set Design) Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival: Macbeth, Measure For Measure, As You Like It, The Winter's Tale, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Arabian Nights. Shakespeare and Company: Red Velvet, The Comedy of Errors, An Unexpected Man, Sotto Voce, The Taming, Ugly Lies the Bone. Folger: As You Like It, Sense & Sensibility. Off-Broadway: The Singing Forest (New York Shakespeare Festival); Play Yourself (New York Theater Workshop); This Thing of Darkness, White People (Atlantic Theater Company); Hamlet, Saint Joan, New York Animals, Sense & Sensibility, The Seagull, Dead Dog Park (Bedlam); Dry Land, Everything is Ours, Fish Eye (Colt Coeur). Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: 25 designs including 3C, Lady, The Undeniable Sound of Right Now, The Revisionist, Saved or Destroyed. Assistant Professor, Adelphi University.

Les Dickert (Lighting Design) designs for a diverse range of live performance, spanning contemporary and Shakespearean theater, modern dance, classical ballet, and international performance art. Previous collaborations with Bedlam include Sense & Sensibility, The Seagull, and New York Animals. Broadway: Wrong Mountain (Assistant), High Society (Assistant). Off-Broadway: Atlantic Theater, Rattlestick Theater, P73, Theater Row, Ensemble Studio Theater, In Violet Rep, others. Regional: Shakespeare and Company, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Geva Theater, Perseverance Theater, Syracuse Stage, Triad Stage, Arden Theater, others. Dance: White Oak Dance Project, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Joffrey Ballet. International: Centre Pompidou; La Scala; and the National Ballets of England, Denmark, Australia, Belgium, Canada, and Russia. Les is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

Trampas Thompson (Fight Director) is thrilled to be collaborating again with his friends from Bedlam. In addition to choreographing the original critically acclaimed run of Bedlam's Hamlet, his theatrical work includes Women of Will for Tina Packer and Richard III for Shakespeare Dallas. Trampas has been a professional stuntman and stunt coordinator in film and television for over 20 years. His 100 + credits include four Pirates of the Caribbean films, National Treasure, and Zombieland, among many others. Trampas was Michael Keaton's stunt double in the film Birdman and recently joined Mr. Keaton again as his stunt double on Spider-Man: Homecoming, due in theaters next summer. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA and the Directors Guild of America. Complete credits can be found on IMDb.

Led by Artistic Director/Resident Playwright Emily Mann and Managing Director Timothy J. Shields, McCarter Theatre Center is a leading destination for playwrights, actors, and directors to collaborate on ambitious world premieres, re-imagined classics, adaptations, and developmental workshops. Awarded the 1994 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, McCarter has evolved into a nationally and internationally acclaimed theatre recognized for its first-rate productions, daring world premieres, and lasting contributions to the American theatrical canon. The theatre is celebrated for its emphasis on the creation and development of new work, marked especially by an on-going program of commissions, an annual artists retreat, and the fostering of long term relationships with emerging and established playwrights.

Among the noteworthy dramatists whose work has received world premieres, developmental productions, and workshops at McCarter are: Edward Albee, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Sarah Treem, Marina Carr, Lydia Diamond, John Guare, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, ReGina Taylor, Beth Henley, Danai Gurira, and Athol Fugard. Many, including Eclipsed, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2013 Tony Award for Best Play), Having Our Say, Anna in the Tropics, Crowns, Valley Song, and Yellowman, received original workshops at McCarter before moving on to Broadway and/or become some of the most frequently produced plays in the American theater. McCarter is equally recognized for its reinvestigations of the classic canon including Fiasco Theater's reimagined production of Into the Woods, Stephen Wadsworth's acclaimed adaptations of the Marivaux Trilogy and Beaumarchais' Figaro plays, Brian Friel's Translations, and Emily Mann's adaptations of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard and Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba.

Next up, McCarter Theatre Center's 2017 Theatre Series continues with Ken Ludwig's adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (world premiere), and Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel.

IF YOU GO:

Bedlam's productions of
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw

Creative, Production, and Design Team:

Direction: Eric Tucker
Set Design: John McDermott
Lighting Design: Les Dickert
Fight Director: Trampas Thompson
Production Stage Manager: Diane Healy
Director of Production: David York
Resident Producer: Debbie Bisno
Managing Director: Timothy J. Shields
Artistic Director/Resident Playwright: Emily Mann

Cast:

Eric Tucker: Hamlet in Hamlet
Dunois/Warwick and others in Saint Joan

Andrus Nichols: Gertrude/Ophelia and others in Hamlet
Joan in Saint Joan

Edmund Lewis: Polonius/Horatio and others in Hamlet
Dauphin/John de Stogumber and others in Saint Joan

Tom O'Keefe: Claudius/Rosencrantz and others in Hamlet
Cauchon/Poulengey and others in Saint Joan

Tickets:

Performances for Hamlet and Saint Joan run January 13 - February 12 in the Berlind Theatre. Single tickets range from $25 - $74 and are on sale now online at mccarter.org, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office, located at 91 University Place in Princeton.

Seating Options:

Each play offers patrons a choice of "Traditional Seating" OR "OnStage Seating." Patrons have the choice to purchase tickets and watch either show(s) in one of two ways: 1) sitting in the house in a fixed location or 2) sitting on stage for a more interactive, up-close-and-personal relationship to the action.

ONSTAGE TICKET option: Each onstage ticket holder has the opportunity to see the play-while
sitting on stage-from multiple perspectives within any one performance. The seating configuration
and audience point of view will shift for each act of the play (in both Hamlet and Saint Joan). Onstage ticket holders will be asked to mill in the lobby during both intermissions as the onstage seating is reconfigured for the next act.

TRADITIONAL TICKET option: Patrons are assigned to a seat inside the theater in the traditional
seating format. Patrons will stay in the same assigned seat throughout the duration of the play.

*There are a limited number of on stage seats for each show.

Special Events and Engagement Programs:

Dialogue on Drama
Join us for a special post-show discussion with director Eric Tucker and Andrus Nichols (co-founders of Bedlam) after the Sunday, January 22 2 p.m. matinee performance. This is a free event, no RSVP req.

Post-Show Discussions
Post-show discussions at McCarter are highly interactive audience-based conversations facilitated by a member of McCarter's artistic staff, often featuring cast members. These discussions focus on a range of topics including how artistic choices were made for the production, the actors' process, and reflections and questions from audience members. Post-show discussions occur directly following the 7:30 p.m. performance on Wednesday, January 25and following the 2 p.m. performance on Sunday, January 29.

Inside Story
Join us 45 minutes before any performance for a talk led by a member of McCarter's artistic staff. Hear about what inspired the play, its unique creation and style, and much more. All Inside Story talks will take place in the Berlind Theatre unless otherwise noted in the lobby upon arrival.

McCarter is supported by Princeton University, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and
over 3,000 individuals, corporations, and foundations. McCarter Theatre is located at 91 University
Place in Princeton, NJ. For more information, visit www.mccarter.org.

Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson

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