Quintessence Theatre Group launches its fourth season of progressive classic theatre with Shakespeare’sHAMLET presented in rotating repertory with Goldmsmith’s SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER, October 9 – November 23. Quintessence’s celebrated full throttle actor and text driven approach to the classics will be further enhanced by an Elizabethan Courtyard style staging, complete with groundlings, and a fast and furious two and a half hour abridgment of HAMLET.

Prince Hamlet returns from university to bury his father and attend the surprising and hasty marriage of his mother to his uncle. The ghost of his father visits the grieving Hamlet and reveals a mystery that could destroy not only his family, but the sovereignty of Denmark. Betrayed by family, lovers, and friends, Hamlet’s quest for truth and vengeance takes him and the audience, deeper into danger and the labyrinth of his own mind. Prepare to be thrilled by the legendary speeches and unstoppable force of Shakespeare’s great revenge tragedy as Artistic Director Alexander Burns presents a two-hour and a half hour cutting, destroying the myth of the “Man Who Could Not Make Up His Mind.”

Running Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes (including one fifteen minute intermission)

CREATING A COURTYARD THEATRE IN PHILADELPHIA

 

Inspired by Michael Boyd, the emeritus Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, Quintessence will continue to test the limits of the theatrical medium by reformatting the Sedgwick Theater into a Courtyard style theater, established when the courtyard’s of Elizabethan inn’s were used as performance venues, for its fall repertory. At the Sedgwick the seated audience will be placed on elevated risers around the central stage, allowing the audience to look down on the action in the yard below. With an eye toward removing the “fourth wall” and further engaging the audience in the theatrical event, the remainder of the audience will stand in the “pit” around the stage platform and be encouraged to interact with the production, much like the groundlings at Shakespeare’s Globe. $10 Groundling tickets will be available for all performances.

THE REPERTORY ENSEMBLE

Following his celebrated performance as Iago in last season’s OTHELLO, Quintessence ensemble member Josh Carpenter* will lead the fall repertory as Hamlet. He will be joined by Quintessence regulars Daniel Fredrick as Rosencrantz  (Poprishchin in THE DIARY OF A MADMAN), Rachel Brodeur as Ophelia (Nina in THE SEAGULL),Sean Bradley as Laertes (The Guard in ANTIGONE, Bassanio in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE) and Alexander Harvey as Guildenstern  (Emilia in OTHELLO). Quintessence is also excited to welcome the return of E. Ashley Izard as Gertrude, Sonja Field as the Player Queen, Matt Lorenz as Horatio and Griffin Stanton-Ameisen as Fortinbras. They will be joined by John Preston* as Polonius , and Ralph Edmonds* as Claudius, both making their Quintessence debuts.