CLASSICAL ‘HAMLET’

28 Sep

Classical Theatre Company (CTC) opens its 2009-2010 season with Hamlet, an original one-man adaptation of William Shakespeare’s masterpiece.  This piece was adapted by and stars Guy Roberts, artistic director of the Prague Shakespeare Festival (PSF).  Co-directed by CTC executive artistic director John Johnston and Guy Roberts, Hamlet runs at HITS Theatre from October 8 – 18. 

Tickets can be purchased through the Classical Theatre Company website at www.classicaltheatre.org, or by calling the CTC box office at 713-963-9665.  Free post-show discussions follow Sunday evening performances, and there is an additional Monday performance on October 12 at 7:30 pm. 

The production promises to offer new insights into this complex character.  In 90 minutes, Roberts takes on eighteen different characters from the play.  The adaptation allows us to focus only on scenes that Hamlet is directly a part of, or that he overhears.  As John Johnston states, “This adaptation will cast a play with which we are so familiar into a totally new light.  Hamlet is like one of those nesting dolls, with layer upon layer.  I like to think that we’re able to get deeper with our take than another full-cast production would be able to.” 

Roberts’ performances this past summer in the Houston Shakespeare Festival were astounding in their depth and distinction, according to Johnston, and this production only further showcases his skill with the Bard’s work.  Choosing to undertake Shakespeare’s greatest opus, Roberts has more than a few interesting thoughts: 

“Perhaps what keeps Hamlet fresh and exciting is that these questions remain for each audience: why does Hamlet not immediately avenge his father’s murder?  Is it the weight of the conscience ‘that doth make cowards of us all?’  What keeps us from acting on our basest and most immediate impulses – is it social convention, personal morality, or simply the fear of punishment?  What keeps us alive when all forces point towards giving up and submitting to death – that ‘undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns?’  Hamlet is an exciting and essential theatrical experience compelling audiences to decide for themselves whether he is philosopher, dilettante, hero, villain, lover, madman, fighter, victim or some fluid, ambiguous and contradictory combination of all of these.” 

Classical Theatre Company (CTC) is dedicated to being the preeminent producer of classical theatre in the nation, presenting the classical canon on the stage, in the community, and in the classroom in an engaging, visceral, and visually spectacular way.  Founded by Houston actor and artistic director John Johnston, CTC “looks to indelibly change the Houston arts community, and strives to be a cultural force in the region for years to come.”

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