NIU Studio Series offers new take on ‘Hamlet’

Published: Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT

With its fifth production of the 2012-2013 Studio Series season of plays, Northern Illinois University School of Theatre and Dance will present a new take on a classic tale with “Hamlet Redux,” a story of political intrigue and one man’s battle with personal demons.

Written by William Shakespeare, the adapted play will run from Feb. 13 through Feb. 17 and will stage in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre on the NIU campus.

War and relationships, both political and personal, are at the forefront of “Hamlet Redux.” Set in Denmark during the 1940s, Hamlet experiences an industrial, rigid world where there is more to people than simply “good” or “bad.”

“It is a military nation where everyone is quite paranoid and controlled by the government with propaganda,” stage manager TC Fair said in a news release.

Director Stanton Davis said Hamlet’s world isn’t always safe.

“To me, it is a very political world where it is very dangerous for people,” Davis said in the release. “I don’t see anyone as a bad guy. It’s a tragedy for everyone.”

Davis said that a full production of Hamlet runs about five hours. This staged version has been cut to two hours, by eliminating peripheral storylines and focusing on what most people understand as the actual tragedy of Hamlet. As the war wages on, Hamlet must face an inner battle of his own.

Although “Hamlet Redux” has been pared down, Fair said all of the classic text and scenes are still present, including sword fights, stage combat and plenty of drama.

Weekday and Saturday show times begin at 7:30 p.m. Matinees will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 16 and 17.

Tickets cost $6 and can only be purchased at the School of Theatre and Dance box office one hour before performances.

Additional information is available by contacting the box office from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 2 p.m. Friday, at 815-753-1600, online at www.niu.edu/theatre or by email at sotdboxoffice@niu.edu.

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