Pictured from left are cast members Caitlin Duffy as Ophelia, Jaron Crawford as Hamlet and Kara Green as Horatio in Theater at Monmouth’s upcoming production of “Hamlet.”

MONMOUTH — Theater at Monmouth’s What Dreams May Come Golden Anniversary Season continues with “Hamlet,” considered one of the most powerful tragedies in the English language. “Hamlet” is widely regarded as both the best of Shakespeare’s works and “the perfect play.”

See Hamlet’s search for answers from 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18, through Aug. 17, including matinee and evening performances on both weekdays and weekends.

In the wake of his father’s abrupt death, Hamlet returns home to find his personal and political world turned upside down — his mother remarried, his uncle on the throne, and a world seemingly gone insane. When his father’s ghost appears and demands vengeance, the desperate Danish prince must decide: submit or resist. Accept or avenge. Live or die.

The story of Prince Hamlet’s search for meaning and justice in a world beyond his control has fascinated audiences and actors alike for more than 400 years. Hamlet rebels against ageism and dogmatic authority while struggling to accept the loss of his father and understand his place in this world.

Of the Mad Men-inspired adaptation, Director Dawn McAndrews explains, “Setting the play in the late ’50s amidst the corporate hierarchy and gender and race politics of the time supports the play’s driving focuses on the dynamics of interpersonal relationships and the tenuous power of the state.”

In TAM’s production, the royal family is inspired by the Johnson Publishing Co. whose magazines Ebony and Jet celebrated African American life and culture by portraying black life, refuting stereotypes and inspiring readers to overcome racial and other barriers to success.

Producing Artistic Director Dawn McAndrews says of the Danish prince, “Although Hamlet might be a terrible CEO, a bad boyfriend and a sullen and spoiled son, he is also a young man who yearns to do what is right, to live up to the dictates of his father, and remain true to his ever-emerging sense of self.” TAM’s production delves into the grit of Hamlet’s grief by exploring the profound questions we all wrestle with throughout our lives: Who am I? What must I do? How must I act?

“Hamlet” features Jaron Crawford as Hamlet; Lawrence James, Claudius/Ghost; Amber Baldwin, Gertrude; Kara Green, Horatio/Player Queen; Mark S. Cartier, Polonius/Sailor; Robert Najarian, as Laertes/Player King; Robbie Harrison, Rosencrantz; Quinn Corcoran, Guildenstern; and Caitlin Duffy, Ophelia/Young Osric. Sets design is by Jim Alexander; costume design, Elizabeth Rocha; lighting design, Jennifer Fok; fight choreography, Robert Najarian; and sound design by Rew Tippin.

The opening date is 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 19. Additional dates are July 18 and 27 and Aug. 2, 8 and 13 at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 4, 14 and 17 at 1 p.m., and July 28 at 7 p.m. with post-show discussion.

Classic in Context Discussions fulfill the audience’s desire for in-depth information on the plays before attending each production. The series features four discussions with scholars and artists, focusing on the season’s offering. Audience members can attend the post-show discussion with scholars and artists after attending the preview production. Classics in Context Discussions will take place following the preview performance in July.

Post-Performance Discussions will be held at selected weekend evening performances with the cast and creative team. Discussions will take place Sunday, July 21, following the performance of “Merry Wives”; Sunday, July 28, following the performance of “Hamlet”; Sunday, Aug. 4, following the performance of “Intimate Apparel”; and Sunday, Aug. 11, following the performance of Ken Ludwig’s “Baskerville.”

Single tickets for the summer repertory and fall show are $34, adults; $29, senior citizens; and $20, students 18 and under. For other options, email [email protected] or call 207-933-9999. For calendar and reservations, contact the box office at the above number or visit www.theateratmonmouth.org.


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