Ghosts, deception and insanity are coming to the city of Binghamton in Shakespeare’s well-known tragedy, “Hamlet.” The Goodwill Theatre’s “Shakespeare Alive!” program is putting on the Shakespeare classic at 7 p.m. on Feb. 4 and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 12, both at The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage.
The performance may seem a bit different for Shakespeare fanatics. The play is set around 1914 and is influenced by imperial Russia and has been cut down to a little over two hours from the original version. Director Rosemary Hay, who decided to eliminate the character Fortinbras, feels her decision doesn’t take away from the heart of the play.
“Although the play has been cut down quite a bit, the atmosphere of the play still has a great sense of the world changing and war on the horizon,” Hay explained.
This is her second time directing “Hamlet.”
Actor Mike Flynn is playing Horatio, Hamlet’s trusted friend and the only main character left alive at the end of the play. Flynn explained the allurement of being in a Shakespeare play.
“Shakespeare’s language is definitely heightened. Nothing is spoken as if in an everyday conversation, instead there is great relish in the actual sounds of the words,” he said. “Our director reminds us that Shakespeare’s text does a great deal of the acting work for us.”
Hamlet was performed by the theater in 2009; however, all the characters have been casted differently with the exception of Hamlet, who will once again be played by Rudy Caporaso, whom Hay is very excited about.
“You’re going to see a pretty whacked Hamlet,” Hay said.
Despite being performed off campus, Flynn hopes Binghamton University students aren’t deterred from seeing the show.
“It is important for people to come and see Shakespeare’s work because he always has such wonderful scenarios, but also the language is so poetic that it makes the audience really listen and focus,” Flynn said.
Tickets are $15 for students and senior citizens, and $20 general admission. You can purchase tickets by calling the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 1.