The Elgin Theatre Company and the Fremont Street Theater Company are pleased to announce their co-production of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Abridged. The play was written by William Shakespeare and has been adapted and is directed by Thomas Neumann. This production will be part of the 2019 Elgin Fringe Festival.
Performances of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Abridged will be held at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St., 8th floor, Elgin, Il. 6020. Performances will be on Thursday, September 12, 2019, at 6:00 pm, Friday, September 13, 2019, at 9:00 pm, and Saturday, September 14, 2019, at 7:30 pm.
Set in Denmark, the play depicts Prince Hamlet and his revenge against his uncle, Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet’s father in order to seize his throne and marry Hamlet’s mother. Hamlet is Shakespeare’s longest play and is considered among the most powerful and influential works of world literature, with a story capable of “seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others” Now in a new version, specifically adapted for Elgin Fringe Festival, this Epic tale is shortened down to just 40 minutes. Still containing the intrigue, drama, and climactic finale that has made Hamlet the second most filmed story in history, this classic has been adapted to turn a long and broad drama into a small play of family loyalty and betrayal.
- Hamlet (20-35): – The Prince of Denmark, the title character, and the protagonist. Hamlet is the son of Queen Gertrude and the late King Hamlet, and the nephew of the present king, Claudius. Hamlet is melancholy, bitter, and cynical, full of hatred for his uncle’s scheming and disgust for his mother’s sexuality. A reﬂective and thoughtful young man who has studied at the University of Wittenberg, Hamlet is often indecisive and hesitant, but at other times prone to rash and impulsive acts.
- Claudius (25-45): – The King of Denmark, Hamlet’s uncle, and the play’s antagonist. The villain of the play, Claudius is a calculating, ambitious politician, driven by his sexual appetites and his lust for power, but he occasionally shows signs of guilt and human feeling—his love for Gertrude, for instance, seems sincere.
- Polonius/Ghost/Osric (30-60): – POLONIUS: The Lord Chamberlain of Claudius’s court, a pompous, conniving old man. Polonius is the father of Laertes and Ophelia. GHOST: The specter of Hamlet’s recently deceased father. The ghost, who claims to have been murdered by Claudius, calls upon Hamlet to avenge him. However, it is not entirely certain whether the ghost is what it appears to be, or whether it is something else. Hamlet speculates that the ghost might be a devil sent to deceive him and tempt him into murder, and the question of what the ghost is or where it comes from is never deﬁnitively resolved. OSRIC: The foolish courtier who judges the duel.
- Horatio (18-35) – Hamlet’s close friend, who studied with the prince at the university in Wittenberg. Horatio is loyal and helpful to Hamlet throughout the play. After Hamlet’s death, Horatio remains alive to tell Hamlet’s story.
- Laertes (18-25) – Polonius’s son and Ophelia’s brother, a young man who spends much of the play in France. Passionate and quick to action, Laertes is clearly a foil for the reﬂective Hamlet.
- Gertrude (25-45) – The Queen of Denmark, Hamlet’s mother, recently married to Claudius. Gertrude loves Hamlet deeply, but she is a shallow, weak woman who seeks affection and status more urgently than moral rectitude or truth.
- Ophelia (18-30) – Polonius’s daughter, a beautiful young woman with whom Hamlet has been in love. Ophelia is a sweet and innocent young girl, who obeys her father and her brother, Laertes. Dependent on men to tell her how to behave, she gives in to Polonius’s schemes to spy on Hamlet. Even in her lapse into madness and death, she remains maidenly, singing songs about ﬂowers and ﬁnally drowning in the river amid the ﬂower garlands she had gathered.