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'Hamlet' Will Rule At Rowayton’s Pinkney Park This Summer

Actor Joey Santia and director Claire Kelly talk about how Shakespeare illuminates the workings of the soul and turns life into art in “Hamlet,” which will be staged in Rowayton’s Pinkney Park starting June 16.
Actor Joey Santia and director Claire Kelly talk about how Shakespeare illuminates the workings of the soul and turns life into art in “Hamlet,” which will be staged in Rowayton’s Pinkney Park starting June 16. Photo Credit: Photo by Jason Byrd

NORWALK, Conn. -- Pinkney Park in Rowayton will host Claire Kelly's adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" from June 16 through July 3.

It has been selected as Shakespeare on the Sound’s 21st annual production, featuring a 1950s setting and an age-appropriate cast. A total of 16 performances will bevheld in the natural amphitheater of Pinkney Park in Rowayton.

Joey Santia will go against professional theater conventions to play the title role at the age of 21, compared to 40 and older for the likes of Christopher Walken and Sir Laurence Olivier.

Still to be cast are Hamlet's romantic interest Ophelia and close adviser Polonious.

Where classic interpretations of "Hamlet" run more than four hours, the play is rarely acted in uncut form. Kelly has trimmed the Pinkney Park script to 2 ½ hours wrapped around a 15-minute intermission, preserving the lyrical force of Shakespeare’s masterpiece and at the same time getting to the point of the scenes with less embroidery.

Cherie Burton of Rowayton, president of the board of directors for Shakespeare on the Sound, said the group has a dedicated following in the community.

“The richness of such a fine cultural resource with its sustainable opportunities for education and sheer family fun is woven into the fabric of the community through our activities and our production," Burton said. "It makes a community multi-dimensional in a great way.”

Donations of $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors are encouraged for the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday performances since there is no charge to get into the park those days.

Admission is $20 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances. Children 12 and younger are admitted for free. Reserved seating is available for $50 at the park or online .

Shakespeare on the Sound will host the free wine-and-cheese event "Hints on Hamlet" on the second Monday of every month at Rowayton Community Center until the end of the play. Registration is recommended by emailing contactus@shakespeareonthesound.org or calling 203-229-1300.

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