Grantham Coleman as Hamlet, Michael Genet as The Ghost, and Opal Alladin as Queen Gertrude Credit:  Jim Cox/┬ęThe Old Globe
Grantham Coleman as Hamlet, Michael Genet as The Ghost, and Opal Alladin as Queen Gertrude Credit: Jim Cox/┬ęThe Old Globe

To See; To Hear

Marshall Bissett

The Lighting and Sound Designs of Hamlet at San Diego’s Old Globe

Every new production of Hamlet must lay to rest the ghosts of its predecessors. With its familiar story, often quoted (and mostly misquoted) lines and contemporary spin offs, it’s amongst the most accessible of Shakespeare’s tragedies. The director’s skill lies in extracting the story of revenge from the Iambic pentameter and metaphysical musings so unfamiliar to the modern ear. Barry Edelstein’s production on the Festival Stage at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego succeeds by not allowing anything to upstage a well-told story. In this he is greatly helped by a design and production team that clearly shares his vision that “the play is the thing.” The outdoor setting of the 600-seat thrust-configured setting posed challenges for the production crew greater than the passing of an occasional aircraft. With at least four prior Old Globe shows under their belt, sound designer Sten Severson and lighting designer Stephen Strawbridge took a break from technical rehearsals to share their craft with Stage Directions.

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