Antic Disposition: OSF 2010 Hamlet

starring Dan Donohue
directed by Bill Rauch

Dan Donohue as Hamlet, OSF 2010 -- photo by David Cooper

Dan Donohue as Hamlet, OSF 2010 — photo by David Cooper

When it was announced back in the summer of 2009 that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2010 season would include a Hamlet directed by Festival Artistic Director Bill Rauch, Clan Murphy went all a-flutter (and a-Twitter).  First off, we figured that Rauch would bring some warmth, theatricality and menschlichkeit to a play that seems to invite catastrophic Scylla vs. Charybdis production choices.

I mean, how to do this wonderful, gnarly, hoary terrifying play? If you’ve seen more than three or four Hamlets, you may know what I’m saying: On the one side is the creaking-at-the-knees Thou Shalt Not Mess with this Sacrosanct Relic school of theatre production, and on the other, the acrobatically innovative “high concept” approach that resembles nothing so much as Pretzel-Position No. 108 in The Shakespearean Tantric Sex Manual.

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