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Vengeful Hamlet and Courageous Saint Joan Will Be Brought Vividly to Life

March 2, 2018

Bedlam theater company presents riveting staging of two classic plays

Middlebury, VT— 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 outstanding 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,” according to series director Allison Coyne Carroll. “She insightfully recognized Bedlam as ‘actor-centric, intense, with an inventive pared-down aesthetic.’”  

 

About the Ensemble

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. Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal was an early admirer, describing it as “Thrilling! An unforgettable show! The most exciting George Bernard Shaw revival I’ve ever seen, bar none.” In this epic story, Shaw paints Joan of Arc not as a saint, witch, or madwoman, but a farm girl who is an illiterate intellectual, a true genius whose focus on the individual rocked the Church and State to their core. The Bedlam cast performing in Middlebury includes Aundria Brown as Saint Joan, Aubie Merrylees as Dunois/Warwick and others, Kahlil Garcia as Dauphin/John de Stogumber and others, and Sam Massaro as Cauchon/Poulengey and others.

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 includes 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.

Bedlam’s shows have been noted as Ben Brantley’s “Critics’ Picks” for The New York Times on six occasions and noted on The New York Times “Top Ten Best Show Lists” twice, as well as those of The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine respectively. The Wall Street Journal also noted Eric Tucker as “Director of the Year” in 2014. Bedlam has won two Irne Awards, two Off Broadway Alliance Awards, and an Obie Grant. Bedlam has also been nominated for two Lucille Lortel awards, a Drama League award, and four Elliot Norton awards, winning for Best Visiting Production and Best Ensemble for Saint Joan.

 

    “Acted with sublime ferocity…An experience so intense and concentrated that you’ll feel as though you were part of the action.” —Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal

 

    “The Bedlam company has staged a lively, modern and amiable production that feels brisk even at three hours.”  —The New York Times

 

Performance Details

The two Bedlam performances will take place on consecutive nights: first, Hamlet on Friday, March 2, 2018 at 8:00 P.M.; then Saint Joan on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 8:00 P.M., both at Wright Memorial Theatre, on the campus of Middlebury College. Wright Theatre is located at 96 Chateau Road in Middlebury, just off Route 125. Free parking is available on Route 125, on Old Chapel Road, and in the College parking lot off Shannon Street, with handicap-accessible parking available on Chateau Road. Tickets are $28 for adults; $22 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, emeriti, and alumni; $10 for youth 18 and under (NEW youth ticket price!); and $6 for Middlebury College students, and are on sale at 802-443-MIDD (6433) or www.middlebury.edu/arts/tickets.

Note: Bedlam’s productions of Hamlet and Saint Joan will include the company’s signature on-stage seating—seats that change positions for each of the three acts. No participation will be required from those seated on stage. If interested in sitting on stage for one of the acts, please arrive by 7:45 PM and notify an usher.

 

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Image captions:

(top right, top center, and bottom right) Hamlet and Saint Joan will come to life in Middlebury's Wright Theater on March 2 and 3. Photo Elizabeth Nichols

(middle left) Hamlet and Saint Joan will come to life in Middlebury's Wright Theater on March 2 and 3.

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax
cfa@middlebury.edu