‘Hamlet’ and ‘Saint Joan’ come to life in Middlebury

He is a dark, enigmatic prince obsessed with seeking revenge for his father’s death. She is a steadfast rebel who challenged the powers of the church to restore France to greatness. Iconic figures from two great dramatic classics — Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and Shaw’s “Saint Joan” — are brought vividly to life in riveting stripped-down stagings by four actors from the acclaimed New York theatre company Bedlam. These two plays will be presented by the Middlebury Performing Arts Series in Wright Theatre on Friday, March 2 (“Hamlet”) and Saturday, March 3 (“Saint Joan”).
“Mahaney Center for the Arts director Liza Sacheli curated these ingenious performances,” series director Allison Coyne Carroll explained. “She insightfully recognized Bedlam as ‘actor-centric, intense, with an inventive pared-down aesthetic.’”
Committed to the immediacy of the relationship between the actor and the audience, Bedlam creates works of theatre that reinvigorate traditional forms in a flexible space, collapsing aesthetic distance and bringing its viewers into direct contact with the dangers and delicacies of life. In this new, fresh, active environment, storytelling becomes paramount and the result is a kinetic experience of shared empathy.
Eric Tucker and Andrus Nichols co-founded Bedlam in 2012, presenting George Bernard Shaw’s “Saint Joan” on a shoestring budget with only four actors playing over 25 characters. The show received instant recognition and was extended four times.
In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” Bedlam creatively reimagines The Bard’s story by focusing on the rich text. Using innovative staging, minimal props, and boundless energy, the four actors make this masterpiece extraordinarily engaging, fast-paced, and often laugh-out-loud funny, all while maintaining the integrity of the play.
The Bedlam cast performing in Middlebury will include Aubie Merrylees in the lead role as Hamlet, Aundria Brown as Gertrude/Ophelia and others, Kahlil Garcia as Polonius/Horatio and others, and Sam Massaro as Claudius/Rosencrantz and others.
Don’t miss these two Bedlam performances. “Hamlet” will take place on Friday, March 2 followed by “Saint Joan” on Saturday, March 3. Both shows begin at 8 p.m. in the Wright Memorial Theatre, on the campus of Middlebury College.  Wright Theatre is located at 96 Chateau Road in Middlebury, just off Route 125. Tickets are $28 for adults; $22 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, emeriti, and alumni; $10 for youth 18 and under, and $6 for Middlebury College students, and are on sale at 802-443-MIDD (6433) or middlebury.edu/arts/tickets.

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