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Shakespeare Festival: 'Hamlet: A Bare Bodkin'

By Jeanine Russaw, Special to the Chronicle


Hofstra University's Department of Drama and Dance has truly outdone themselves with this travelling production of "Hamlet." The show has been doing a bit of touring to local high schools and with very positive results as it was discovered at its delightfully comedic symposium. For anyone familiar with the play, the cast and crew's whimsical attitude toward the rather intense subject matter (adopted from the director, no doubt) would be a surprise. That attitude was not forthcoming in its delivery, but its subtle implications are what seemed to be the driving force of the delightful presentation witnessed this afternoon.

Hamlet, as portrayed by Christian Titus, is a tragic hero who lets his obsession get the better of him. The choices this actor made in terms of body movements and his relationships to other characters were genuine and really told the story. T Overall, the synergy between the actors made everything believable and truly worth seeing, Shakespeare fan or not. 

The true magic exists in how well the production supported and enhanced the director's vision with an abstract concept for design. Other interesting topics of discussion included consolidating the set to make it flow with a one-hour presentation of "Hamlet," while making it conducive to whatever space given at the various high schools they were performing at. 

Another adaptation worth mentioning was the fact that Elefterion decided to consolidate the characters of Ophelia (played by Corrine Mestemacher) and Horatio. It's something to look forward to; Horatio was a semi-important character. Every hero needs a best friend -- if Ophelia starts out as his friend, what will be of the romantic build-up in the play?  How will it be performed in one hour? Everyone should see it to find out!

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