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Mason Hill Abigail Trabue Richard Engling Laura Sturm Charley Jordan Matt Lukasiewicz Summer Widhalm Alex Reimers Travis Gauchay
   Mason Hill         Abigail Trabue       Richard Engling        Laura Sturm          Charley Jordan       Matt Lukasiewicz      Summer Widhalm      Alex Reimers      Travis Gauchay 
   Hamlet                 Ophelia             King Claudius       Queen Gertrude        Lord Polonius               Laertes                  Horatio                Rosencrantz         Guildenstern

May 23 -
June 15
Michael Sherwin George Zerante
Michael Sherwin      George Zerante 
Ghost of Hamlet's Father   Marcellus      

Darrel Hager Caitlin McGlone
    Darrel Hager      Caitlin McGlone
Gravedigger, Musician   Lead Singer 

Ky Rankin Lauren Cerkiewicz
       Ky Rankin        Lauren Cerkiewicz
Ophelia's Handmaiden    Gravedigger    

Kevin Stangler Jason Rost
 Kevin Stangler           Jason Rost    
Lead Singer, Musician   Priest, Musician

Emily Lotspeich Ben Kass
Emily Lotspeich            Ben Kass    
Ambassador, Musician   Osric, Musician


Polarity's Keen Makes Hamlet Rock

Hamlet is "riveting"
Highly Recommended

   --Chicago Reader

Polarity Ensemble Theatre brought its innovative magic to another Shakespeare classic. Director Ann Keen set the world's greatest play in the milieu of rock superstardom. No, she didn't make it into a musical, but there was a live rock band onstage.

Bring up any topic on William Shakespeare—his works, his life, his legacy—and you are bound to elicit some opinion. But why choose a well-known play such as Hamlet in the first place? Nearly everyone, it would seem, has that infamous “to be or not to be” speech ready to recite at a moment's notice. What will make this version different than others?

It’s the mirroring of difficult times, both in the play and in today’s society, according to director Ann Keen. “I think it epitomizes the story of broken families,” Keen said. “Hamlet is a powerful depiction of that.”

Much like today's tabloid celebrities and starlets, Hamlet is hounded by friends and family when he’s trying to digest all that has taken place. Not only was his father murdered by his uncle, but the uncle usurped the throne and married Hamlet's mother.

The production featured a live band to punctuate the action and original music by Chicago rock veterans Mason Brown and Randy Diderrich of SundayRunners. Keen wanted to “bridge the world of music and theater.”

“Artists should band together to make each other better,” she said. “We could learn a lot from each other.”

Ticket Info

Polarity Ensemble Theatre presented Hamlet at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, Chicago, Illinois. Hamlet performed May 23 through June 15, 2008, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm.

Production Staff
Ann Keen, Director
Brea Hayes, Assistant Director
Abigail Trabue, Production Manager
Jason Epperson, Production Manager/Set Designer
Dana Erdman, Stage Manager
Jonathan J. Alvarado, Lighting Designer
Kendell Johnstone, Costume Designer
Mason Hill, Fight Choreographer
Mason Brown, Composer
Randy Diderrich, Composer
Jane Healy, Dramaturg

Polarity Ensemble Theatre is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres.