Hamlet

by William Shakespeare
Produced by Oak Park Festival Theatre
Opened June 2014 at Austin Gardens

A prohibition era setting embraces the intensity of Capone-esque politics and sultriness of late 20’s jazz. Within the notorious Chicago mafia world, the laws of family, justice, and honor are indeed out of “joint.”

Chicago Tribune: “If you’re tapping your feet impatiently awaiting the return of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Oak Park Festival Theatre’s current production of Hamlet may provide some relief. Director Lavina Jadhwani’s staging sets the action in the 1920s-era Hotel Denmark… it’s an eminently workable choice.”

Chicago Reader: “Director Lavina Jadhwani moves Shakespeare’s tragedy to 1920s Chicago, a change that allows the men to dress and act like gangsters without harming the drama a bit. It helps that her cast is adept at delivering their lines ‘trippingly on the tongue,’ bringing out Shakespeare’s poetry without indulging in either hammy overacting or annoying fake naturalism.”

Oak Leaves/Chicago Sun-Times: “Shakespeare’s story of vengeance, ghosts and existential angst is solid and accessible… Jadhwani delivers a worthy production here. Amid the towering shadows of Austin Gardens’ centuries’ old trees, it takes on a spookiness that’s fitting indead.”

Featuring Will Clinger, John Crosthwaite, Luke Daigle, Matthew Gall, Jack Hickey, Kelly Lynn Hogan, Sean Kelly, Michael Joseph Mitchell, Michael McKeogh, Jackson McLaughlin, Michael Mercier, Jhenai Mootz, Sara Pavlak, and Michael Pogue.

Photos by Johnny Knight.