Aug 2-13, 2017

Hamlet

Hamlet

Hamlet

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This above all: To thine own self be true.

Shakespeare’s gripping masterpiece, often considered the greatest play in the English language, returns for CSF’s 60th season. Hamlet’s world is ripped apart after one parent’s untimely death and the other’s hasty remarriage, and the young prince’s heart and mind wrestle for control in a tormented quest to uncover the truth. Staged for the first time inside the intimate University Theatre, this is Hamlet as you’ve never seen it before.

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This production is sold out, please contact the box office for waitlist information at 303-492-8008.

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Plot Synopsis

Upon her father’s death and mother’s quick remarriage to her uncle, Hamlet has returned to Denmark to cope with her grief. Horatio reveals that he has seen her father; the next night, Hamlet confronts her father’s ghost, who charges her to avenge his alleged murder. Hamlet vows to find out the truth and obtain justice, and she will do so under the guise of madness.

Polonius and his daughter Ophelia have bid farewell to his other daughter, Laertes. Hamlet’s change in character unsettles Ophelia, and Polonius determines to find the cause of her lunacy. King Claudius and Queen Gertrude welcome Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to the castle and charge them with elucidating Hamlet’s madness.

Meanwhile, Fortinbras’ army has neared Denmark; Voltemand arrives with assurances that Norway is not planning war, though the threat looms.

Hamlet maintains the illusion of madness, even with childhood friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. When the Players arrive, she enlists them to play “The Murder of Gonzago”, a play that mimics the death of Old Hamlet. Claudius interrupts the performance, appearing upset; Hamlet believes she’s found proof of guilt. But when she has the opportunity to kill Claudius as he prays, she hesitates. Hamlet visits Gertrude and accidentally kills Polonius, resulting in her banishment to England; on the way, she finds that Fortinbras’ army is still nearby.

Laertes returns to discover that Ophelia, driven mad by the loss of her father and lover, has drowned in a nearby brook. As they go to bury her, the court encounters Hamlet, an unpleasant surprise return; Hamlet and Laertes quarrel over Ophelia’s corpse. Claudius and Laertes conspire to have Laertes challenge Hamlet to a duel. Laertes’ sword is poisoned, and Claudius poisons a cup of wine as well, to ensure Hamlet’s death. In the chaos of the fight, many lives are lost. Fortinbras marches into Denmark virtually unopposed.

—Hadley Kamminga-Peck, Dramaturg

News & Reviews

For centuries, women have been going through the same juggernaut of earth-shattering experiences Hamlet went through. Audiences just have not been allowed to see that play out on a stage until now.

John Moore, Denver Center for the Performing Arts

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News & Reviews

This summer’s indoor productions are packed to the gills with beloved Colorado actors and out-of-town heavyweights.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

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News & Reviews

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival will return to its roots for its 2017 season, revisiting shows originally featured in its first formal season in 1958.

A.H. Goldstein, Boulder Daily Camera

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News & Reviews

...[T]here are many productions of “Hamlet” planned around the country, but in Colorado they’ll shake things up by casting a woman.

Steven McElroy, The New York Times

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News & Reviews

If you’ve never enjoyed Shakespeare under the stars at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre in Boulder, this is a historic anniversary season in which to do so.

Joanne Ostrow, The Denver Post

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News & Reviews

All of Hamlet's finest gut-wrenching and soul-searching moments find ample gravity in [Lenne] Klingamann's performance.

A.H. Goldstein, Boulder Daily Camera

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News & Reviews

Klingaman and O’Hara are fantastic together. The raw yet complex emotions are written clearly on each woman’s face.

Ginny Quaney, PlayShakespeare.com

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News & Reviews

A woman playing Hamlet isn't that unusual. A woman playing Hamlet as a woman is much more rare.

Erik Pipenburg, The New York Times

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News & Reviews

I hope young girls see me sword fight, spit, kick things, love, swear, cry, and shout, and want to do all of that, too. 

Lenne Klingaman

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News & Reviews

If the bittersweet prince is famous for his melancholy and indecision, Klingaman’s performance can’t be accused of either.  Will her vigorous, supple performance silence every naysayer or purist? Of course not. But her phrasing delivery is beautifully nimble, the better to hear the play’s promiscuously sampled phrases in bloody, royal context.

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

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News & Reviews

Where many actors fall into the traps of playing Hamlet far too over-the-top or like a naval-gazing introvert, Klingaman charts her own, steady course between those undesirable extremes. Her performance deepens and broadens as the play progresses until, at the end, she is as riveting and compelling a Hamlet as I have seen.

Gary Zeidner, Boulder Weekly

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News & Reviews

Lenne Klingaman as Hamlet has the same passion, the same anger, the same devious schemes, the same mood swings, and the same skill with the sword as any male Hamlet I’ve seen. Nonissue.

Beki Pineda, Boulder Magazine

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News & Reviews

Klingaman’s Hamlet was feisty, intelligent—think Anne Shirley in a snow-covered forest.

Nicole Serratore, American Theatre Magazine

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Director

Director

Carolyn Howarthº

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Cast

Sam Gregory*

Ghost/Player

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Rodney Lizcano*

Polonius/Gravedigger

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Blake Williams

Marcellus; A player; Ambassador

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Gary Wright*

King Claudius

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Mare Trevathan

Gertrude

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Ava Kostia

Assistant Fighting Director; Laertes

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Emelie O'Hara

Ophelia

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Kristofer Buxton

Osric; Player Queen

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Lenne Klingaman*

Hamlet

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Austin Terrell

Tragedian/Voltemand

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Cindy Spitko

Voltemand; A Player; Captain

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Michael Bouchard

Rosencrantz

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Elise Collins

A Player; Fortinbras

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Alan Nelson

Priest

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Sean Scrutchins*

Guildenstern

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Artistic Team

Dramaturg

Hadley Kamminga-Peck

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Scenic Designer and Lighting Designer

Stephen C. Jones^

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Costume Designer

Hugh Hanson

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Assistant Scenic and Lighting Designer

Whitney Brady

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Stage Manager

Paul Behrhorst*

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Assistant Stage Manager

Darion Ramos*

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Resources

Download CSF 2017 Calendar
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CSF 2017 Calendar

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Download Plot synopsis, director's notes and dramaturg notes
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Plot synopsis, director's notes and dramaturg notes

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Download History of CSF
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History of CSF

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Getting Here

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