Monday, July 14, 2014

Get Thee to Delaware Shakespeare Festival’s Exhilarating Production of Hamlet!

There is nothing like spending a gorgeous summer night with friends, wine, nosh and one of The Bard’s most famous plays performed live outside. Thankfully the Delaware Shakespeare Festival (DSF) provides this opportunity in Rockwood Park! Regardless if you are a Shakespeare aficionado or novice, you will have a delightful evening at DSF.

This year’s DSF production is Hamlet. Of course, most of us have read Hamlet and/or seen a production of the play or a film version. We know Hamlet, but director David Stradley breathes new life into this iconic piece. His sophisticated production ignites the enchanting grounds of Rockwood Park and makes the material fresh and exciting.

The multi-level stage by Scenic Designer Oona Curley with the park as its backdrop is enthralling. The cutout quasi-square–shaped back wall not only makes it convenient for the actors to enter and exit the stage, but it also frames the scenes with the lush green field in the distance. It’s as if each scene begins as a picture that comes to life.

And, bringing the play to life is a stellar cast led by Griffin Stanton-Ameisen as Prince Hamlet. Mr. Stanton-Ameisen’s Hamlet has an emo rock star look, which is fitting for a character that is quite expressive with his thoughts and feelings. Mr. Stanton-Ameisen’s dynamic performance conveys the depths of anger and pain his character feels once finding out his uncle (Claudius, the now King of Denmark) has married his mother (Gertrude) after killing his father. Carl Granieri and Caroline Crocker give magnificent performances as the devious Claudius and weary Gertrude.

Clare Mahoney as the lovelorn Ophelia— who is told by Hamlet to go to a nunnery when she professes her love for him — and James Kassees as Opheila’s father Polonius, are both compelling and remarkable in their roles.  

As most know, Hamlet doesn't end well for its leading characters, but that doesn't dampen the lovely evening only DSF can provide in a charming atmosphere.  Don’t delay; get your tickets today before this production closes!

Hamlet plays at Rockwood Park until July 27. Purchase tickets at the door or visit Don’t forget to bring your own chairs, drinks and food! If you don't want to pack food, the Wandering Chef Catering Cart is in the park selling delicious fare!

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