The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company will present Shakespeare’s Hamlet for one night only, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Beardsley Theater in the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, 425 West Western Avenue in Muskegon. Tickets are $14 for adults and $7 for students and seniors, and are available by calling the Frauenthal box office at 231-727-8001, or online at www.frauenthal.org.
Hamlet follows the story of the title character, the prince of Denmark, who arrives home from his university to find that his father is dead, and his uncle has married his mother and taken over the throne. When his father’s ghost appears, demanding revenge, Hamlet must decide whether he will fulfill the ghost’s demands.
Pigeon Creek’s production is directed by Scott Lange, a frequent actor and director with the company. The title role is played by Kat Hermes, continuing Pigeon Creek’s ongoing practice of cross-gendered casting. Company executive director Katherine Mayberry says, “We often employ cross-gendered casting because it is part of the tradition of Shakespeare’s plays. In Shakespeare’s lifetime in England, the professional acting companies were all men, and so the female roles in the plays were played by male actors. We love to experiment with this challenge to the actors, and so audiences will often see men playing female roles and women playing male roles in our shows.” Mayberry points out that many women in theatre have felt driven to tackle the role of Hamlet, beginning with Sarah Bernhardt, famous Shakespearean of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Joining Hermes in this current Pigeon Creek production are Jacqueline Frid, Mark Gmazel, Maggie Hinckley, Jacquie Jones, Ashley Normand, Anthony Snead, Chris S. Teller, Kate Tubbs, Riley VanEss, and Sophia Ann Zorn. Scott Wright directs the play’s fights, Brie Roper directs music, and Mary Beth Quillin is the production’s stage manager.
After the performance at the Beardsley, Pigeon Creek will also take Hamlet to Grand Rapids, Spring Lake, and Jenison. Full details on all dates and venues are available online at www.pcshakespeare.com.