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PHOTO EDITORS: Photos of Grantham Coleman in 2017’s Hamlet, as well as artist headshots, are available by clicking here.
SAN DIEGO (February 19, 2021)—The Old Globe today announced the complete cast and creative team for Hamlet: On the Radio, in a partnership with KPBS. The Globe’s Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein is transforming his smash-hit 2017 production of William Shakespeare’s exhilarating tragedy into an audio-only revival. The 2017 production at the Globe was the most successful in the theatre’s history, and all of the principal cast members return to voice their roles in one of the greatest plays ever written. Many of the ensemble also return, along with two new cast members, to round out the company.
Hamlet: On the Radio will air in two parts. The first pairing will premiereon KPBS 89.5 FM on Shakespeare’s birthday, Friday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m. with the second half airing on Saturday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m. Additional airings are scheduled on Sunday, May 2 at 2:00 p.m. (both parts airing consecutively); Friday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, June 19 at 7:00 p.m. (one part each day); and Sunday, June 27 at 2:00 p.m. (both parts airing consecutively). All times are Pacific Standard Time (PT). The performance can be heard for free on KPBS Radio 89.5 FM, on the KPBS app and website, and on smart speakers.
On Monday, June 28, after the KPBS broadcasts, the audio production will be available to stream on the Globe’s YouTube channel as well as through the theatre’s Spotify and Apple podcast channels.
Hamlet tells the story of the young Prince of Denmark, who comes home from college to find his father dead, his mother remarried to his uncle, and a spine-chilling apparition roaming the palace grounds. It’s a revenge thriller, ghost story, psychological drama, political epic, and family saga, all packed in one, with unforgettable characters, theatrical masterstrokes, and world-famous lines. This new radio production of the Bard’s masterpiece will transport you straight to Denmark’s haunted Elsinore castle with a cast featuring some of the nation’s finest classical actors.
“It’s a joy to be creating art during this agonizing shutdown that’s hit us all so hard, and it’s a special privilege that the work the Globe is making centers on this astonishing play,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “Grantham Coleman and the cast of our hugely successful 2017 production are in top form, and the radio medium allows them to work with an intimacy and spontaneity that’s truly thrilling. We’re grateful to our friends at KPBS for continuing our fruitful collaboration, and we’re pleased to surround the production with a dazzling range of additional programming that offers context, insights, and imaginative connections with Shakespeare and his masterpiece.”
The cast of Hamlet: On the Radio will feature the previously announced return of Grantham Coleman in the title role, along with Amara James Aja* as Marcellus; Opal Alladin as Queen Gertrude; Sam Avishay* as Francisco; Nora Carroll* as Guildenstern; Renardo Charles Jr.* as Player Lucianus; Talisa Friedman as Ophelia; Michael Genet as The Ghost, Player King, and Gravedigger; Kevin Hafso Koppman* as Rosencrantz; Daniel Ian Joeck* as Doctor of Divinity; Patrick Kerr as Polonius; Lorenzo Landini* as Barnardo; Ian Lassiter as Horatio; Bibi Mama* as Sailor; Jose Martinez* as Gentleman of King Claudius’s Court; Christina Okolo* as Player Queen; Jon Orsini as Laertes; Larica Schnell* as Osric; Samantha Sutliff* as Courtier; Mondis Vakili as Player Prologue; and Cornell Womackas King Claudius.
*Graduate of The Old Globe and University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program.
The creative team includes Lindsay Jones (Sound Design), Curtis Moore (Original Music), and Anjee Nero (Production Stage Manager).
Complete artist bios and headshots can be found at www.TheOldGlobe.org/Press-Room.
The Old Globe will also make the online production available for free to schools in the San Diego area to further its commitment to making theatre matter to more people, including young audiences in our community.
The Old Globe has also announced a schedule of online events in celebration of the upcoming Hamlet: On the Radio. Barry Edelstein will return with a new installment of his acclaimed series on Shakespeare, his works, and how they come to thrilling life in the hands of the great artists of the Globe. Thinking Shakespeare Live: Infinite Book will look at how the language of Shakespeare made its way across four centuries from the Bard’s quill pen to the scripts our actors hold as they rehearse their work today. Like Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets!, which The San Diego Union-Tribune named “Best Theater Education Project of 2020,” this new series will be fast paced, fun, and enlightening. Presented in four episodes on Thursdays, March 4, March 18, April 1, and April 15 at 6:30 p.m. PT, Thinking Shakespeare Live: Infinite Book will be available for free on the Globe’s website and YouTube channel.
The Old Globe will also include a digital remounting of an exhibit first seen in 2016 during the Globe's celebration of a visit of Shakespeare’s First Folio to San Diego. Shakespeare in San Diego: The Virtual Experience showcases original props, costumes, photographs, and ephemera from the Globe’s 85-year archive and the Darlene Gould Davies Old Globe Theatre Collection, with a focus on productions of Hamlet and other major works that have made the Globe one of the most important Shakespeare theatres in North America. Utilizing the original exhibit designs of Sean Fanning and Charlotte Devaux, this digital walk-through, created by Fanning and Kevin Anthenill, will be available for free on The Old Globe's website prior to the premiere of Hamlet: On the Radio. More exciting details will be announced soon.
You can also join The Old Globe in celebrating William Shakespeare, our playwright-in-residence, on his 457th birthday with our sixth annual Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! AXIS event. This celebration, virtual again this year, will be streamed on Saturday, April 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon PT and will feature exciting theatre, fun activities, and more Bard-inspired surprises for the whole family to enjoy at home.
New episodes of the beloved Vicki and Carl Zeiger Virtual Insights Seminars will provide Globe patrons with an opportunity to closely connect with the artists working on Hamlet: On the Radio. Associate Artistic Director Justin Waldman will interview artists in informal and illuminating presentations of ideas as they discuss their work on the broadcast, at the Globe, and across their careers. The series will share how this project came to life from the unique perspectives of creative artists, technicians, and actors, culminating in the final episode with an interview with Barry Edelstein. An advance broadcast of each episode will be made available exclusively to Globe donors via Zoom. Each episode will be available to the general public on the Globe’s YouTube channel and website on the following dates:
March 11: Grantham Coleman (playing Hamlet);
March 25: Lindsay Jones (Sound Design);
April 8: Anjee Nero (Production Stage Manager) and Leila Knox (Associate Production Manager);
April 22 Michael Genet (playing The Ghost, Player King, and Gravedigger);
April 29: Barry Edelstein (Director and The Old Globe’s Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director).
On Book: The Old Globe’s Shakespeare Reading Group, one of the first online programs the Globe created during the COVID-19 shutdown, returns live on Monday, March 1 at 12:00 noon PT and will focus on Hamlet. This free online group offers the opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s plays with other audience members and Globe artists and actors through live-streamed discussions and online question-and-answer sessions with Shakespeare scholars and actors. Audiences will read and discuss Shakespeare’s plays, and guest artists will join the Globe’s Literary Manager and Dramaturg Danielle Mages Amato for an interactive exploration of the plays and how they make their way from page to stage. This group is intended for adults ages 18 and up, though it is appropriate for enthusiastic preteens and teens. Additional sessions will be held every other Monday at 12:00 noon PT on March 15, March 29, April 12, and April 26.
Hamlet: On the Radioon KPBS is supported in part by Diane and John Berol, Karen and Donald Cohn, Jean and Gary Shekhter Fund for Classic Theatre, Darlene Marcos Shiley, in memory of Donald Shiley, The Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Fund, and the Estate of Jordine Von Wantoch. The artist sponsor for Grantham Coleman as Hamlet is Ann Davies.
Thinking Shakespeare Live!Initiatives are supported in part by Elaine and Dave Darwin.
Vicki and Carl Zeiger generously support Insights Seminars at The Old Globe.
The James Irvine Foundation supports arts engagement programs at The Old Globe.
Financial support for The Old Globe is provided by The City of San Diego.
The Theodor and Audrey Geisel Fund provides leadership support for The Old Globe’s year-round activities.
Note: All in-person Globe productions and events have been postponed until further notice; all dates are subject to change. In the meantime, the Globe recently announced a new 2021 lineup of programming, including free online work to continue reaching the San Diego community, and in-person shows when we are able to return to our theatres in Balboa Park. Programs include A Midsummer Night’s Dreamwith The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program and The Old Globe Coloring Book. Current online arts engagement programs include AETV Theatre Shorts mini-lessons; Community Voices: Comedy Edition writing workshops; new middle school and high school Globe to Go focused resources, a part of School in the Park, which offers free downloadable K–5 resources for teaching; season 3 of Reflecting Shakespeare TV, a digital version of the transformative initiative offered at prisons; the exploration of modern poetry The Poet’s Tree; Creative Youth Studio, a series of professional development opportunities for youth and high-school theatre enthusiasts; collaborative Mad Libs–style program Word Up!; the AXIS events Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! and Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead; and another year of the Pam Farr Summer Shakespeare Studio and Theatre Design Studio for high school students and recent graduates.
The Globe recently wrapped its 2021 Powers New Voices Festival, and it will once again host a diverse cohort of talented artists in the Classical Directing Fellowship, a program of the Karen and Stuart Tanz Fellowships at The Old Globe.
When the Globe’s three stages open once again, there will be an exciting season of new works, classic plays, and thrilling musicals. The Summer Shakespeare Festival in the Globe’s famed outdoor Festival Theatre will feature William Shakespeare’s masterful comedic take on the battle of the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew, and the American tribal love-rock musical Hair; with book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermot, directed by James Vásquez and choreographed by Rickey Tripp. In the Globe’s two indoor theatres there will be Alice Childress’s American classic Trouble in Minddirected by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg; the Globe-commissioned world premiere musical The Gardens of Anuncia, inspired by the life story of Broadway legend Graciela Daniele, who directs and choreographs, with book, music, and lyrics by five-time Tony Award nominee Michael John LaChiusa; the world premiere of Mansa Ra’s Globe-commissioned play Shutter Sisters, directed by Donya K. Washington; and the world premiere play El Borrachoby Tony Meneses, directed by Edward Torres.
Programs and videos archived on our website at www.TheOldGlobe.org and on our YouTube channel, available for viewing at any time from the comfort of your home, including the world premiere of Bill Irwin’s In-Zoom; a free commissioned short-plays project Play At Home; outreach from familiar Globe artists in Act Breaks and Flashbacks; Soap It Up with students from The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program; and Barry Edelstein’s hit presentation Thinking Shakespeare Live! and his series Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! Archived arts engagement programs include the Community Voices playwriting workshop and its Spanish-language version Voces de la Comunidad; Behind the Curtain and its offshoots, the Spanish-language Detrás del Telón, Behind the Curtain: Technical Assistance forum, and Behind the Curtain: Art of Protest; check-in program with Globe-commissioned writers Playwrights Unstuck; and The Living Room Play Workshop.
The Tony Award–winning The Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional not-for-profit regional theatres. Now in its 85th year, the Globe is San Diego’s flagship performing arts institution, and it serves a vibrant community with theatre as a public good. Under the leadership of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and the Audrey S. Geisel Managing Director Timothy J. Shields, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 16 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages, including its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs. Its nationally prominent Arts Engagement Department provides an array of participatory programs that make theatre matter to more people in neighborhoods throughout the region. Humanities programs at the Globe and around the city broaden the community’s understanding of theatre art in all its forms. The Globe also boasts a range of new play development programs with professional and community-based writers, as well as the renowned The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. Numerous world premieres—such as 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!—have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.
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