HAMLET at Ensemble Shakespeare

A stripped-down HAMLET comes to Pasadena

PHOTO: Ensemble Shakespeare | SouthPasadenan.com | Scene from stripped down HAMLET on stage at Lineage Performing Arts Center

Pasadena’s​ ​resident​ ​guerilla​ ​Shakespeare​ ​company​ ​is​ ​back​ ​with​ ​Shakespeare’s​ ​most​ ​enduring play,​ ​​Hamlet. The​ ​Ensemble​ ​Shakespeare​ ​Theater,​ ​known​ ​for​ ​original​ ​adaptations​ ​of​ ​The​ ​Bard’s​ ​plays,​ ​has created​ ​an​ ​innovative​ ​and​ ​streamlined​ ​take​ ​on​ ​the​ ​famous​ ​tragedy.​ ​Horatio​ ​is​ ​our​ ​narrator​ ​for this​ ​production,​ ​and​ ​he​ ​is​ ​finally​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​tell​ ​his​ ​story​ ​to​ ​”the​ ​yet-unknowing​ ​world”.​ ​We​ ​follow his​ ​journey​ ​as​ ​he​ ​watches​ ​his​ ​friend,​ ​Hamlet,​ ​deal​ ​with​ ​grief,​ ​madness,​ ​family,​ ​revenge,​ ​and sometimes​ ​even​ ​a​ ​battle​ ​with​ ​substance​ ​abuse.

The​ ​play​ ​originated​ ​in​ ​a​ ​collaboration​ ​between​ ​Brian​ ​White,​ ​who​ ​adapted​ ​the​ ​script,​ ​and​ ​the Ensemble’s​ ​artistic​ ​director,​ ​Brian​ ​Elerding.​ ​Elerding​ ​won​ ​positive​ ​reviews​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Ensemble’s most​ ​recent​ ​production,​ ​​Lear’s Shadow ,​ ​another​ ​original​ ​adaptation​ ​of​ ​Shakespeare’s​ ​work. Under​ ​his​ ​direction,​ ​the​ ​company​ ​has​ ​produced​ ​plays​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Lineage​ ​Performing​ ​Arts​ ​Center​ ​in Pasadena,​ ​the​ ​Under​ ​the​ ​Oaks​ ​Theater​ ​at​ ​Descanso​ ​Gardens,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Edinburgh​ ​Festival Fringe.

PHOTO: Ensemble Shakespeare | SouthPasadenan.com | Hamlet on stage now at Lineage Performing Arts Center in Pasadena

This​ ​iteration​ ​of​ ​​Hamlet ​begins​ ​in​ ​a​ ​bar,​ ​where​ ​Horatio​ ​relates​ ​the​ ​story​ ​of​ ​his​ ​tragic​ ​friend, Prince​ ​Hamlet.​ ​Swirling​ ​in​ ​this​ ​adaptation​ ​are​ ​challenging​ ​themes​ ​of​ ​alcoholism,​ ​a​ ​theme​ ​close to​ ​home​ ​for​ ​both​ ​Brians.​ ​“I’ve​ ​never​ ​had​ ​the​ ​urge​ ​to​ ​try​ ​to​ ​take​ ​on​ ​directing​ ​​Hamlet,”​ ​says Elerding,​ ​“but​ ​when​ ​Brian​ ​[White]​ ​and​ ​I​ ​got​ ​together​ ​and​ ​he​ ​shared​ ​his​ ​personal​ ​stories​ ​of​ ​how alcoholism​ ​has​ ​touched​ ​his​ ​life,​ ​and​ ​how​ ​he​ ​put​ ​that​ ​fire​ ​into​ ​his​ ​adaptation,​ ​suddenly​ ​this​ ​play didn’t​ ​just​ ​feel​ ​like​ ​just​ ​one​ ​more​ ​standard​ ​​Hamlet .​ ​I​ ​knew​ ​I​ ​had​ ​to​ ​do​ ​it.”

​Ensemble Shakespeare’s Hamlet ​runs​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Lineage​ ​Performing​ ​Arts​ ​Center​ ​on​ ​Saturdays​ ​and​ ​Sundays ​ ​September​ ​9​ through September 24​ ​at​ ​7:30.​ ​Ticket​ ​prices​ ​range​ ​from​ ​$15-25,​ ​with​ ​discounts​ ​for​ ​students and​ ​seniors.​ ​$6​ ​Parking​ ​is​ ​available​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Schoolhouse​ ​Parking​ ​Lot​ ​on​ ​the​ ​opposite​ ​corner​ ​from the​ ​theater​ ​at​ ​Green​ ​and​ ​Fair​ ​Oaks.​ ​To purchase tickets head over to  ​www.ensembleshakes.org/tickets

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