With the third season underway, the company adds two full productions to it’s roster, in addition to expanding to providing artistic workshops in high schools, and running a successful fundraising gala performance of David Auburn’s Proof for local charity L’Abri en Ville. Now to end the season with a bang with Shakespeare’s Hamlet – probably the most famous play, and one of the most daunting, in the English canon.
Artistic Director Peter Giser has made the play an object of personal study for twenty years. “The questions Hamlet asks are more timely than ever in the world of today: What should we do when we perceive wrong? How do our actions affect others? Do you stop violence with violence, or is there another way? And perhaps most difficult of all is the issue of how people can come to trust each other in dangerous circumstances. The conflict between people with opposing values on these issues has never been more relevant than it is now in our partisan world, where the two ‘mighty opposites’ – being truthful and caring for others, versus taking selfishly – are shown throughout the story.”
True to its mission to provide emerging artists with exciting performance opportunities alongside actors from a range of experiences and backgrounds, Snowglobe welcomes a diverse cast of locals in this production of Hamlet.
In the title role is Chance, a fiery and charismatic up-and-coming young actor who is also a recognized Montreal hip-hop artist. Lars Lih and Clive Brewer each bring a lifetime of experience accumulated in the Montreal community theatre scene to the roles of Polonius and the Player King. Stage, TV, and voice actress Leigh Ann Taylor, fresh from d2 productions Within the Glass, plays an unexpectedly fierce yet feminine Gertrude. Arun Varma’s Horatio is a man of mystery. Zamera Amy Topolovec as the Gravedigger is possessed of a zany humour and subtle wisdom.
According to Peter Giser, “This production has a special focus on women’s roles in the male-dominated kingdom, and touches upon how abused the female characters can be. And yet even through that abuse how they manage to find their own ways to voice their needs and take some power. Both Gertrude and Ophelia (Kateryna Fylypchuk) “know a lot more than they let on, and just when you’ve forgotten them, they come back with a vengeance and show just how powerful they can be.”
In addition to a cast of about 23 performers, the production features live music composed by Gabriel Frank. It takes place at Espace Knox, a new performing arts space and converted church, whose castle-like interior majestically houses this shakespearean tragedy.
Hamlet plays May 2-5 and May 8-12 at 7:30pm at Espace Knox (6215 Godfrey).
Tickets are $25-35 and available at www.snowglobetheatre.org/hamlet.