One of Us Productions in Yachats presents Shakespeare’s Hamlet as you have never seen it, nor ever likely to see it portrayed again. Hamlet, about a royal family fight as nasty as the human mind could comprehend, is the backdrop as conjured up by a group of wholly unlikely theatrical wanna-be’s high in the mountains somewhere in Appalachia.
The plot involves an accomplished New York stage director with a successful Off Broadway season on her resume. Somehow she is reluctantly convinced to take “Hamlet” into the hinterland to expose the theatrical brilliance of Shakespeare to the unwashed masses, a.k.a. “artistically underserved.” In this case into the backwoods and hollers of Appalachian coal country.
Upon arrival in a small town, the director learns to her chagrin, that only only six townspeople show up to take a crack at it: 23 year old Mona who has always dreamed of playing Ophelia, a coal truck driver whose only desire is Mona, two middle-aged waitresses who have never been “on stage” except to flirt with customers to get a tip, 74 year old Hattie Johnson, in whose restaurant the play will unfold, who spearheaded the effort to see Mona get a shot at her dream (however fleeting), and the town bank’s vice president who volunteered because somebody told him he had to. Gathering in the restaurant, this rag-tag band presents the most outlandish production of Shakespeare ever envisioned. Amazing costumes and royally goofy mishaps decorate the actors’ painfully sincere attempts to give Hamlet a “new voice.” Truly, more levels of humor than a Vulcan Chess game.
“The Little Theater’s Production of Hamlet” was written by Jean Battalo and is offered by special arrangement by Samuuel French, Inc. All performances are held at the Yachats Community Center stage Fridays (7:30pm), Saturdays (7:30pm) and Sundays (2pm). Show dates are October 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 and 20. Then the following week of October 25, 26 and 27.
Tickets are $10 and are available at Touchstone Gallery, Toad Hall, Ya-hots Video, Waldport Video and as always, at the door. For more information contact Robbie Schoonover at 541-547-3786 or Cris Torp at 541-867-4241.