IUPUI Production of "Young Hamlet" To Run Four Nights at IndyFringe
Lauren Briggeman stars as Horatio and Tom Cardwell as Hamlet. View print-quality image
January 21, 2011
- Diane Brown
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UPDATE (Feb. 8, 2011) By popular demand, the IUPUI-based Hoosier Bard Productions has added a matinee performance to its schedule of Young Hamlet. Tickets are on sale now for a matinee performance of Young Hamlet at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, at the IndyFringe Theatre. Tickets are still available for Friday, Saturday and Sunday's matinee. All other performances are sold out.
This February, Hoosier Bard Productions and the IUPUI-New Oxford Shakespeare Project in the IU School of Liberal Arts, will present a fast-paced and physical Shakespeare in a production based on the earliest surviving text of Hamlet.
The first production of the IUPUI-led Hoosier Bard Productions, Young Hamlet will be performed by an international cast as well as local students and faculty, directed by Terri Bourus, associate professor of English Drama in the School of Liberal Arts. See the play at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 4, 5 and 12, 2011, or at 8 pm on Feb. 11, 2011, at the IndyFringe Theatre.
Professor Bourus is uniquely suited to direct the play. She is one of three general editors of The New Oxford Shakespeare -- a comprehensive, multimedia edition of all of Shakespeare’s works. Hoosier Bard Productions’ Young Hamlet is based on the first edition of Shakespeare’s play, which was first printed in 1603 and is only half as long as the more familiar version.
As the name of the play implies, Hamlet is a teenager in this early draft, written by Shakespeare in his early twenties. (In traditional performances of the play, Hamlet is in his thirties.) "This difference in Hamlet’s age," says Professor Bourus, "affects almost every element of the play: the age of Ophelia, the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia, the relationship between Hamlet and his mother."
This unconventional take on Hamlet results in a fresh, energetic performance that will surprise even those familiar with the tragedy. "Too often," says Bourus’s New Oxford co-editor, Professor Gary Taylor, "audiences feel that going to a Shakespeare performance is like going to the doctor’s office, something ‘good for you’ that you don’t expect to enjoy. But Hoosier Bard’s production is not Shakespeare on automatic pilot, and we hope that Indianapolis audiences will open their eyes and minds and hearts to what excited Shakespeare’s first audiences."
Furthermore, says Dr. Taylor, because this early version of the play is rarely performed, Indianapolis audiences are getting an opportunity to take part in a ‘theatrical experiment’: “Everyone who attends the February performances will, in fact, become a collaborator on The New Oxford Shakespeare, helping us to test new ideas about what Shakespeare created.”
The IndyFringe Theatre is located at 719 East St. Clair Street near the corner of Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indy. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and may be purchased at http://indyfringe.org/calendar/event/young-hamlet or at the door.
- contributed by Meghan Smith, IUPUI English Major; revised 1-25-2011