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Hamlet - Spring 2018

  • Date: 03/11/2018 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Hamlet

by William Shakespeare

Directed by Justin Gordon

Sickened by the sudden marriage of his mother to his dead father’s brother, Prince Hamlet returns home to find himself thrust onto a vengeful path upon learning that his uncle, now the new king, murdered his beloved father. Grappling with his own mortality and morality, Hamlet must summon the will to act in order to lay his father’s ghost to rest, and salvage what remains of the Kingdom of Denmark.  Staged in MPC’s Studio Theatre, this intimate, visceral, and fast-paced production of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy focuses on a decaying family dynasty torn apart by duplicity, lust, and ambition.

Why Shakespeare? Why Hamlet? (by Justin Gordon)

Hamlet and his motherOne of the earliest lessons ever imparted to me as a burgeoning actor was by my high school drama teacher, who encouraged me to audition for Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, telling me, “If you can act the classics, you can act anything.”

How right he was.

In the years since, that single lesson has been the foundation of my training and practice as an actor; training that I feel is vital to impart upon successive generations of theatre artists. Therefore, producing Shakespeare at a training institution—and let us not forget that MPC Theatre is very much that—is a necessary and natural fit. Theatre students must have a basis in the great works that make up the theatrical canon, and I humbly believe that no play fits that bill better than HAMLET.

However, in the staging of this play and the rest of Shakespeare’s works, there is one bit of advice that I feel we, as theatre artists, must remember—and that is this: we must stop worshipping at the Altar of Shakespeare the Poet, and we must treat these classical texts as the vital, energetic, and contemporary pieces of theatre that they were during Shakespeare’s time. Thematically HAMLET - and really all of Shakespeare’s canon - should resonate with a modern audience, just as it resonated with audiences in 1603. However, over the course of some four-hundred-odd years of staging Shakespeare’s plays, we have begun to associate them as Great Literature, rather than living, breathing theatrical texts, therefore propagating the stereotype that Shakespeare must be confined to rigid, stuffy, “classical” interpretations that leave audiences cold. Shakespeare was actively trying to “hold the mirror up to nature,” as it were. We must continue to re-interpret and breathe life into these plays on a deeply visceral level; and that is my goal as I continue to delve into Shakespeare’s works, both as an actor and as a director. 

I couldn’t be happier to be directing one of the most beautiful and complex tragedies ever written, stripping it down, focusing on the language and the central family, and honoring what I believe the author’s intent was: to shock, move, and provoke his audience by forcing them to face their own mortality through the actions of our most famous Tragic Prince.

I’ve assembled a core group of students and local professional actors to help bring this production to life and, hopefully, re-align perceptions on what Shakespeare can be to a modern audience. I view the MPC Studio Theatre as a Laboratory for Risk—and I cannot wait to share the work of my company with the Monterey Peninsula community.


---About the Director

Professional actor, writer, and director, Justin Gordon recently joined the faculty of the MPC Theatre Arts Department, where he teaches Screenwriting, Acting for the Camera, and Movement. He has trained at Shakespeare's Globe in London, England, the British Academy of Stage Combat, and graduated from the Professional Theatre Training M.F.A. program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Justin has appeared at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Rogue Music Theatre, Cornerstone Theater Company, LA Theatre Ensemble, REDCAT, The Krannert Center, and freeFall Theatre Company. Justin is a frequent performer and Fight Director for Pacific Repertory Theatre in Carmel, where he recently appeared in Antony and CleopatraCyranoKing Lear, and Twelfth Night. Film and television credits include We Were SoldiersWhat's Bugging SethAbsentiaThe Unbreakable SwordOculusBefore I WakeGehenna, and the forthcoming Netflix Original Series, Age of the Living Dead. Recent directing credits include Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Complex Theatre, Hollywood) and Red Light Winter (The Armory Theatre, Illinois). He is a proud member of Actor’s Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and the Society of American Fight Directors.

ABOUT THE MPC THEATRE CHARITABLE TRUST

The Monterey Peninsula Community Theatre Company Charitable Trust is an independent 501(c)(3) created to support the MPC theatre program by funding expenses not covered by the State educational budget. 


Performance Dates and Times
:

 Day Date
Time
Details
Thursday
Mar 1
7:30 PM
Preview
Friday
Mar 2
7:30 PM
Opening night
Saturday
Mar 3
7:30 PM
Regular Performance
Sunday
Mar 4
2:00 PM
Matinee
       
Thursday
Mar 8
7:30 PM
Regular Performance
Friday
Mar 9
7:30 PM
Regular Performance
Saturday
Mar 10
7:30 PM
Regular Performance
Sunday
Mar 11
2:00 PM
Matinee




Thursday
Mar 15
7: 30 PM
Regular Performance
Friday
Mar 16
7:30 PM
Regular Performance
Saturday
Mar 17
7:30 PM
Regular Performance
Sunday
Mar 18
2:00 PM
Matinee & Final Performance

Ticket Information:

For tickets visit our box office*, call (831) 646-4213 or purchase online.

All tickets to HAMLET are $10.00. Tickets are available from the MPC Box Office on the Monterey Peninsula College Campus at 980 Fremont Street, Monterey. The MPC Box Office (831-646-4213) is open Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM, and two hours prior to performances. Tickets are also available online at www.mpctheatre.com For more information email the Box Office at mpcboxoffice@mpc.edu


Please note:
Campus Parking is required for Thursday evening performances and cost is $3.00.  Some kiosks take quarters, others only accept dollar bills.