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A look at the cast of characters in ‘Hamlet’

Hamlet (Shaun Sheley):

Our 30-year-old protagonist, the grief-afflicted prince of Denmark, is hung up on the recent death of his father and the almost instant ascent of his uncle, Claudius, to the throne. Also less than cool in Hamlet’s eyes is the fact that his mother, Gertrude, was all too willing to marry his scheming uncle practically before her former husband’s body was cold. The tortured and possibly unhinged young man has only one recourse: revenge.

Claudius (Tim Newell):

The shrewd and deliberate King of Denmark, unknown to almost everyone, has murdered his way to the throne and into the “incestuous sheets” of Gertrude’s bed. This sits less than well with the ghost of Hamlet’s father, who instructs his wayward progeny to take up arms against his skeevy uncle and root out what’s rotten in the state of Denmark.

Ophelia (Rebecca Elkin-Young):

The beautiful young maiden is majorly crushing on Hamlet (and vice-versa), though her father Polonius and brother Laertes forbid her from returning his affections. This does not end well, as Ophelia’s conflicting alliances eventually drive her mad.

Laertes (Adam Rath):

At first, the young son of Polonius and sister of Ophelia wants nothing more than to while away the days in Paris. But events back home, up to and including the death of his father at the hands of Hamlet, bring him back to Denmark in a murderous mood.

Gertrude (Lisa Vitrano):

One of many objects of Hamlet’s poetic ire, Queen Gertrude is stuck between her new husband’s unsavory past and her son’s bloodthirsty future. For her, as for pretty much everyone in the play, things end less than well.

Polonius (Tom Loughlin):

A sort of sanctimonious bloviator in the Bill O’Reilly mode, Polonius is the chief counselor to Claudius and less-than-scrupulous father of Ophelia and Laertes. He is perhaps best known for dispensing pieces of advice that in no way describe himself, this above all: “To thine own self be true.”

Horatio (John Profeta):

As Hamlet’s true BFFL and constant confidant, Horatio is always at the young prince’s side and backs him up in his suspicions of Claudius, his love for Ophelia, and most other things. He lives to tell the tale.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Anthony Alocer and Adam Yellen):

Once Hamlet’s college buds, these two less-than-bright young men have been recruited by Claudius to spy on Hamlet. The prince, being smarter than the both of them combined, finds them out almost immediately and sends them off to their ignominious end.

–Colin Dabkowski