ashland.news
June 14, 2024

A chance to hear ‘Hamlet’ in modern verse

Lue Douthit, president of Play On Shakespeare, said, "At Play On, we look at these Shakespeare translations as new works, and so it seems like a logical fit to us" to work with the Ashland New Plays Festival. Play On photo
May 24, 2024

The Ashland New Plays Festival and and Play On Shakespeare will present a developmental reading of scenes from the Bard’s masterpiece at SOU in a translation by the Universes ensemble

By Lee Juillerat for Ashland.news

A developmental reading from a modern verse translation of “Hamlet” by the theater ensemble Universes will be presented Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, at the SOU Main Stage Theater by the Ashland New Plays Festival.

The June 1 reading will be at 7 p.m. and the June 2 reading at 1:30 p.m.

A translation in process

Jackie Apodaca, ANPF’s artistic director, said, “Audiences will get the first look at this translation in process, seeing selected scenes from Shakespeare’s masterpiece in a modern light. After the reading, attendees will have the chance to provide valuable feedback to the artists involved by participating in the post-show talk-back.”

The deets
“Hamlet,” selected readings from a modern verse translation of Shakespeare’s classic by Universes. Commissioned by Play On Shakespeare and presented by the Ashland New Plays Festival.
Where: SOU Main Stage Theater.
When: 7 p.m. June 1, 1:30 p.m. June 2.
Tickets: $25 general admission, free to SOU students, available at ashlandnewplays.org.

ANPF is partnering with Play On Shakespeare, which Apodaca describes as a “nonprofit organization dedicated to reimagining Shakespeare’s works for contemporary audiences.” She said, “ANPF continues its tradition of pushing artistic boundaries and connecting audiences with new theatrical experiences.”

Play On Shakespeare President Lue Douthit said, “The Ashland New Plays Festival has a wealth of experience supporting playwrights in the development process. At Play On, we look at these Shakespeare translations as new works, and so it seems like a logical fit to us.”

Translation by ensemble

“I am curious to know what the translation process might be like within an ensemble, so I was thrilled when they (Universes) accepted our commission to translate ‘Hamlet,’” Douthit added. “Shakespeare’s company was a collection, after all, and Universes is the ensemble in residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. They are in the early stages of development, and I expect there will be a lot of discoveries in the room as well as with the experienced ANPF audiences.”

Apodaca said, “Yes, ANPF is a playwright’s organization and Shakespeare has been dead for 408 years, but that doesn’t mean this masterpiece doesn’t have more to give. When Lue suggested partnering on the development of a new translation of “Hamlet,” led by the creative team of Universes, I jumped at the chance.”

‘Incredible cast’

She added, “We’ve assembled an incredible cast of actors, including Christiana Clark, Vilma Silva, Barret O’Brien, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp and Steven Sapp. I’m eager to see some of today’s most innovative artists wrestle with this peerless text.”

The readings will give theatergoers an opportunity to experience Shakespeare’s masterpiece in a whole new light.

Tickets for ”Hamlet” are $25 for general admission and are free to SOU students. They can be obtained through the ANPF website, ashlandnewplays.org.

Email freelance writer Lee Juillerat at 337lee337@charter.net.

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