Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival to Present 'Hamlet,' 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

Author: Chuck Gessert

2012 Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival

The 2012 Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (NDSF) will run July 14 through August 26, highlighted by the Professional Company’s production of Hamlet, directed by David H. Bell.

Other performances include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, presented by the Young Company at outdoor spaces throughout the Michiana region; Beyond the Stage, a performance-based lecture series, which will be presented at select venues in July and August; and ShakeScenes, which will open the festival with performances at historic Washington Hall on July 14 and 15.

William Shakespeare’s most famous play, Hamlet, will be presented August 14 through 26 at Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. The title role will be performed by Andy Truschinski, who returns to NDSF after appearing in The Merchant of Venice at last year’s festival. Also appearing will be Lisa Brescia (currently performing on Broadway in Mamma Mia!) as Gertrude. NDSF and Chicago Shakespeare Theater veteran Elizabeth Ledo will portray Ophelia, and Stratford Festival veteran Don Carrier will play Polonius. Also joining the cast are Jeff Cummings as Claudius and Daniel Cantor as Hamlet’s father/leading player/gravedigger. Tickets range from $10 to $75 and go on sale through the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center ticket office on July 5.

Kevin Asselin directs the Young Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play will be performed free of charge in communities throughout Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. The Young Company comprises students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, and other colleges and universities from across the country. The tour begins at 7 p.m. July 15 at the Lincoln Township Public Library in Stevensville, Mich. Other performances include:

  • 6:30 p.m. July 21 (Saturday) — Dewey Cannon Park, Three Oaks, Mich.
  • 7 p.m. July 22 (Sunday) — Battell Park, Mishawaka, Ind.
  • 7 p.m. July 27 (Friday) — Centennial Park, Plymouth, Ind.
  • 6:30 p.m. July 28 (Saturday) — Centennial Park, Munster, Ind.
  • 7 p.m. August 4 (Saturday) — Potawatomi Park Pavilion, South Bend
  • 7 p.m. August 5 (Sunday) — Wellfield Botanic Gardens, Elkhart, Ind.
  • 7 p.m. August 20 (Monday) — Main Building, Notre Dame

The Beyond the Stage series features a performance-based lecture titled An Eye for an Eye in Shakespeare’s Time. Ryan Producing Artistic Director Jay Paul Skelton will explore the implications of vengeance from the tragic viewpoint of Hamlet and the comic stance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Actors from the Young Company will share a sample of this summer’s productions as well as others from Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Presentations will be at 3 p.m. July 21 at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Mich.; at 7 p.m. July 31 at New World Arts, Goshen, Ind.; and at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 in the Philbin Studio Theatre of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 and are available at each theater’s box office.

Over the course of one weekend, dozens of actors from throughout the community take to the stage in ShakeScenes at Washington Hall. Two different performances, each offering a series of 10-minute scenes, are at 2 p.m. July 14 and 15 at Washington Hall on the Notre Dame campus. Admission is free.

Shakespeare at Notre Dame is a pre-eminent center for the study of Shakespeare in performance, educational outreach, and academic research. Shakespeare at Notre Dame includes the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Actors From The London Stage, visiting guest artists and lecturers, touring productions and new media library collections.

Tickets for Hamlet will go on sale at noon July 5 at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Ticket office, by phone at 574-631-2800, and on the Web at

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