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Shakespeare & Company in New Hampsire Debut with Hamlet at Redfern Arts Center

KEENE, 9/15/08 - The legendary Lennox, Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company, in its first ever national tour, will make its New Hampshire debut at Keene State College’s Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond. The Company will perform William Shakespeare’s Hamlet for area schools at 9:30 a.m. and again for general audiences at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 7. The production is co- presented with the Colonial Theatre of Keene.

Variety described Shakespeare & Company’s Hamlet as “… galvanizing and bold.” The Company will be led by its founder and artistic director, Tina Packer, in the role of Gertrude.

Hamlet is arguably Shakespeare’s finest play. Believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601, it depicts one man’s struggle between moral integrity and the need for vengeance in a corrupt world.

Set in Denmark, Hamlet recounts how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet’s father, the King, and then taken the throne and married Hamlet’s mother. The play vividly charts the course of real and feigned madness - from overwhelming grief to seething rage - and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption. You can see clips of the production at:

Tina Packer founded Shakespeare & Company in 1978, and today the Company boasts one of the largest Shakespeare festivals in the country. Born in England, Packer came to New England in the early 1970s with the idea of creating and running a theatre company that merged the strong suites of British and American actors - the spoken word and the physical body.

With her invigorating sense of what Elizabethan theatre and acting constituted, Packer moved the Company in 1978 to novelist Edith Wharton’s beautiful turn-of-the-century estate, The Mount, in Lennox, Massachusetts. In 2000, the Company purchased and then moved into St. Martins Hall, a 30-acre estate a mile down the road from The Mount.

Through the years, the Company has earned both artistic praise and box office success. In 2002, its production of William Gibson’s Golda’s Balcony transferred to Boston for a two month run in early 2003 before moving to Broadway. Critical praise has been heaped upon such shows as King Lear, Lettice and Lovage, 2005’s Taming of the Shrew, and Hamlet. The Company annually performs for upwards of 75,000 patrons, making it one of the major name attractions on the East Coast.

This Redfern performance is made possible through funding provided in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) as part of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) regional touring program. NEFA receives major support from NEA with additional support from the state arts agencies of New England.

Tickets are available through the Redfern box office (603-358-2168) or online at www.keene./racbp. Ticket prices are $30 and $27 for the general public, $28 and $25 for seniors and KSC faculty and staff, $16 & $15 for youth 17 and younger, and $5 for KSC students w/ID.

Tickets are also available for all of the Redfern’s presenting events and for performances by the departments of Music and Theatre and Dance. Patrons can still purchase 20/20 memberships that enable them to receive a 20% discount for all Presenting Series performances.

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