Center for the Arts Welcomes Shakespeare & Company’s ‘Hamlet’

Posted: September 22, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Dennis Krausnick as Polonius and Jason Asprey as Hamlet.
Photo by Kevin Sprague-Studio Two

Celebrating its 30th season, Shakespeare & Company brings its first national tour of “Hamlet” to Mason’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 8 p.m.

This emotionally charged production features Jason Asprey as the brooding Danish prince torn between moral integrity and vengeance, and Tina Packer, the company’s founder and artistic director (and Asprey’s mother), portraying Queen Gertrude.

A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

Directed by Eleanor Holdridge, the equity cast for this production also features Packer’s husband and Asprey’s stepfather, Dennis Krausnick, as Polonius, and Nigel Gore as Claudius. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Asprey said acting opposite his parents helped him draw on a complicated family dynamic to explore tensions in Hamlet’s own personal life. This production is the first time all three actors have appeared together on stage.

British-born Packer founded the company in 1978, aiming to create a theater company merging the best aspects of British and American actors. Based in the culturally rich Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company aspires to create a theater framed in the classical ideals of harmony, balance and inquiry – the same ones that guided the Elizabethans in their performances.

With a 150 artists, the company performs Shakespeare’s canon, generating opportunities for collaboration between actors, directors and designers of all races, nationalities and backgrounds.

Shakespeare & Company provides original, in-depth classical training and performance methods; offers educational programs that inspire a new generation of students and scholars to discover the resonance of Shakespeare’s truths in the everyday world; and demonstrates the influence that classical theater can have within a community.

Tickets are $36, $28 and $18. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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