Two Plays, One Cast for Hamlet and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern at ACTC
American Coast Theater Company, the resident professional theater of Vanguard University, will present two plays as part of its 2016 Summer Series. Shakespeare’sHamlet and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead will be performed in repertory, in the Lyceum Theater on Vanguard’s Costa Mesa campus, beginning June 3.
Jeremy Aluma, founder of the award-winning clown troupe, Four Clowns, directsHamlet, while Christi McHale, associate producing director for ACTC, directsRosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.
“I plan to use the audience as a more involved participant in the play, using them like another character,” said Aluma. “I also want them to have some kind of relationship to the ghosts and death in the play. Life is precious and Hamlet’s hesitancy to kill his uncle is not cowardice; it is his understanding that life is important, which leads us to think about what life is worth.”
The same actors will play roles in both productions, which will allow the audience to experience the characters from two different points of view; one dramatic, the other more comedic, both unified by related themes, questions, and tragedy.
Those actors are Susan Berkompas, James McHale, Paul Eggington, Amanda Zarr, Brock Milhorn, Ian Jenkins, Ahmed Brooks, Katie Canavan, Tyler Thoreson, Aaron McGee, Taylor Stephenson, Andrew Puente, Jason Evans, and Lola Kelly.
In one half of the experience, audiences will hear Shakespeare’s classic verse – in the other, Stoppard’s witty and philosophical modern banter juxtaposed with physical comedy. The two productions will also share a unified aesthetic and design, with scenic elements woven throughout both shows.
“We will be physicalizing the idea of man as a puppet through the action on stage and the design, in a way that we cannot wait to share with audiences,” said McHale. “It’s a wonderfully collaborative process with the actors and whole design team; the device of actors performing a play within a play gives us so much room for creativity and theatricality.”
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