STU alumnus directs Hamlet

Jilly Hanson as 'Mary Warren' and the cast of VYC's 2010 production of The Crucible.

This isn’t the Hamlet you remember from high school.

That is, unless your class happened to study a live show of William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy that featured professional theatre talent from across North America.

“If Shakespeare bored you in High School – don’t worry,” says the show’s director Lee Kinney. “This entirely modern production of Hamlet promises to be a rush from the opening scene to the final curtain.”

Tickets are now available for Hot House Theatre’s Hamlet in Woodstock starting August 3 at 8 p.m. The show runs until Saturday, Aug. 6.

Kinney graduated from St. Thomas in 2010 and is now midway through his Masters in Fine Arts at Ohio University studying stage directing. The Woodstock native and other local students founded Valley Young Company in 2006 and the company has presented over ten productions in the last six years in Woodstock.

Hot House Theatre is new this year and has been founded in Woodstock to bring professional theatrical talent to Carleton County.

Chris Young, originally from New Jersey, has been cast as the title character. He’s pursuing acting at Ohio University, and his most recent roles include Prince Hal in Henry IV and Fabian in Twelfth Night at the Oxford Shakespeare Festival in Mississippi.

Marissa Wolf, also from New Jersey, is playing Gertrude. Wolf studies acting at Ohio University and is a graduate from the NYU acting program.

Claudius will be played by Andy Felt, originally from Southern California. Felt now runs the theatre program at Marietta College in Ohio.

Kinney says hometown players are certainly not being excluded from this production. Fellow VYC founder Alex Strong, who’s currently studying acting at Studio 58 in Vancouver, is playing the role of Laertes. Jilly Hanson, seen recently in TST’s production Heart’s Desire, will play Osric/Player and VYC alum Alex McCain takes on the role of Guildenstern.

Also joining the cast are New Brunswick locals John Ball, who recently finished a critically acclaimed run as the title character in King Lear in Fredericton with the Bard in the Barracks theatre company, Ian Goff, who played John Proctor in VYC’s The Crucible and Step Taylor, who’s premiering his newest play, Screwjob, in Woodstock as part of the Dooryard Arts Festival.

Kinney says in addition to an exceptional cast, this production features an original electronica score composed by Michael Doherty, resident sound designer with Theatre New Brunswick.

Hamlet opens Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 8 p.m., and runs until Saturday, Aug. 6. Tickets are on sale now at Fusion Café and at the Dooryard Arts Festival Headquarters on Queen Street and are $15 for adults and $10 for students.

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