In 1963, Orson Welles was asked who the best Hamlet he’d ever seen was and he responded without hesitation, “Barrymore…he was a man of genius…” A legendary star of stage and screen, John Barrymore stretched beyond what even he might have thought himself capable of with his portrayals of Hamlet and Richard III. He was larger than life, charismatic, and charming like a rogue. But with fame came complications that included four failed marriages, a troubled mind, and a lifelong relationship with the bottle, in his endless search for love. More
16 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
01 Oct 2013 Leave a Comment
To paraphrase the Bard (poorly), “Something is rockin’ in the state of California!” That “thing” is a unique, three-generation collaboration that brings professional actors, college students and high school drama classes together in a week-long Shakespeare immersion that culminates in a professional performance of Hamlet by the world famous Acting Company, at California State University Northridge’s Valley Performing Arts Center.
Public performance will take place at 8:00 PM on October 4 and 5 and there will be two special performances for local high school students at 10:00 AM on October 2 and 3. More
15 Sep 2013 2 Comments
You will not find a more impassioned version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet than the one Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company is currently offering at the Odyssey Theatre. And with the very real possibility that this may be the company’s final work comes the necessity of experiencing what these dedicated professionals have created while under the influence of Shakespeare’s words.
I had the good fortune to see Lisa Wolpe, who returns to Hamlet in the title role, when she played Richard III at Cal Poly Pomona in 2011. She is an actor who disappears into whatever character she portrays so completely that you forget the most obvious fact – she is a woman playing a man – and instead simply see the journey of a person. For Richard it was his calculated ascent to power; for Hamlet it is the unraveling of his mind in the quest for revenge. More
25 Aug 2013 Leave a Comment
Since 1993, the award-winning Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company (LAWSC) has carved out a unique niche in the landscape of L.A. theater. Led by Producing Artistic Director, Lisa Wolpe (pictured right), it examines contemporary issues and cultural perceptions of women through an all-female theatrical lens. In many ways it mirrors the original all-male playing company for whom Shakespeare wrote, at a time when women were not allowed to perform on stage.
LAWSC once again enters the larger conversation within which it resides with its upcoming production of Hamlet at the Odyssey Theatre. It is an eagerly anticipated event, and an undertaking that offers unlimited new avenues for truth in the exploration of Shakespeare’s masterpiece. I was interested in how this company of artists approaches a play, and although Wolpe was already deep in rehearsals, she graciously offered her thoughts about their work. I hope you’ll find them as compelling as I did. More
30 Jul 2013 1 Comment
An all-female, multi-cultural aesthetic offers new insight when the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company co-present Hamlet beginning August 30. The production seeks to evoke a politically dynamic, sexually provocative and spiritually awakened frame of reference and will feature a cast of 16 LAWSC favorites and talented newcomers, including producing artistic director Lisa Wolpe in the title role.
“This will be a richly appointed, classical production that mines the depth of Hamlet’s mystery,” says Wolpe, who co-directs with longtime colleague Natsuko Ohama. “Hamlet thinks with a philosopher’s mind, hoping to find a virtuous, authentic path through a dangerous world of murderous monarchs. When the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears to urge him to avenge his death and kill his incestuous, usurping uncle Claudius, a terrifying supernatural world looms larger than ever as six souls die violently and depart to eternal unrest.” More
08 Jul 2013 Leave a Comment
Twelve years after playing Hamlet on the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival stage, Brett Elliott is bringing the Bard’s famous tragedy back as director.
Hamlet will conclude the 17th annual season at California Lutheran University with performances at 8:00 pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays July 19 – August 4 in scenic Kingsmen Park. The festival grounds open at 5:30 pm for picnicking and pre-show entertainment begins at 6:15 p.m.
Hamlet is the story of a young Danish prince who seeks to avenge the death of his father in a court filled with manipulation and deceit. Set in 1601, the year it was written, the Kingsmen production highlights Hamlet’s internal, spiritual struggle as he confronts his terrifying destiny. Featuring Elliott’s characteristic fight choreography, the briskly paced but thoughtful traditional rendering is designed to offer plenty of fodder for sophisticated fans while remaining an accessible and engaging introduction for young people and newcomers. More
19 Jun 2013 Leave a Comment
O, Fallen One is the initial concept workshop of a devised play that combines stylized scenes with fragmented language, movement, dance, and other devices to create a unique artistic experience. The more theatrical sequences are interspersed with traditional dialogue scenes that tell the story of a modern day Ophelia (Megan Ruble) who, as in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is dumped by a boyfriend (Chris Hull), goes into a depression, and takes to the water to drown.
In this original piece, she’s a high school girl named Lia who lands in the gym’s pool, but rather than descend to a muddy death like her predecessor, she’s pulled from the water and committed to a psych ward for further evaluation. There, a patronizing nurse (Amanda Carson), a concerned teacher (Samantha Kellie), and an emphatic but ineffective doctor (Galen Sato), struggle to help Ophelia while confronting their own shortcomings. More
15 May 2013 Leave a Comment
Thanks to the folks at Kingsmen Shakespeare Company for the heads up about this outstanding Hamlet mashup. It’s long but worth a viewing. Enjoy!
16 Dec 2012 Leave a Comment
Intrepid Shakespeare Company has announced its fourth season: An argument, a spell, a quest, a murder. The season will include:
April 4 – 14, 2013
By David Mamet
June 27 – July 21, 2013
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the musical
Directed by Christy Yael and Colleen Kollar Smith
July 25 – August 18, 2013
Into the Woods
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed by Christy Yael and Colleen Kollar Smith
January 29 – February 16, 2014
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Sean Cox and Christy Yael
Several different subscription packages are available. For complete details call (760) 652-5011 or visit www.intrepidshakespeare.com.
Intrepid’s current season closes with Hamlet, running January 26 – February 27, 2013. It is directed by Christy Yael and features Danny Campbell, Jim Chovick, Sean Cox, Steven Grawrock, Tom Hall, Brian Mackey, Savvy Scopelleti, Tom Stephenson, Jennifer Eve Thorn, Debra Wanger, Wendy Waddell, and Eddie Yaroch.
18 Nov 2012 1 Comment
In last season’s touring production of the Globe Theatre’s The Comedy of Errors Bill Buckhurst filled the Broad Stage with low comedy as the twin brothers Antipholus, providing a lean and light interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic filled with mischief and farcical foolery. This month he flips the coin and returns as director for the Globe’s Hamlet, which he helmed alongside Globe artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole. By stripping away pretense and sentimentality, and trimming the text to come in under three hours, their Hamlet remains fleet of foot, shedding its angst-ridden tendencies, and becomes a vivid rendering that capitalizes on the traditional limitations of touring. (Always remember to pack light.) More