Milford resident and SUNY Purchase student Matthew DeCostanza, will play the title role in Hamlet as well as several roles in Cymebline when the Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford (SA@S) stages the plays beginning Saturday, Aug. 2.
The theater group will perform Hamlet and Cymbeline in repertory from August 2 through August 10 on the grounds of the former American Shakespeare Festival Theater in Stratford.
The productions mark the culmination of the new, interdisciplinary theater training program’s first season. Performances are free and open to the public.
The inaugural class is comprised of fifteen college students who have traveled from around the US and UK to train in Shakespeare performance and contemporary ensemble theater-making, under the leadership of Artistic and Program Director Colleen Sullivan.
Sullivan is directing Cymbeline, and New York-based director and playwright Alex Borinsky is directing Hamlet. The performances will take place at Stratford’s historic Nicholl-Benjamin House at 1850 Elm Street, where SA@S has been resident for six weeks this summer.
Cymbeline will performed inside the house and ticket reservations are required. Hamlet will be staged behind the house and no reservations are necessary.
Chosen through an application and interview process, the inaugural class of SA@S is: Oliver Archibald, Kayla Belk, Mariana Bell, Nate Currier, Matthew DeCostanza, Mia DeLasho, Olivia Gregorich, Patty Hamilton, Jonathan Kinde, Kelly Letourneau, Jacob Nurick, Rebeka Rosales, Alexi Sargeant, Liz Scruton, and Margaret Valerio.
The students have traveled from as close as Connecticut and as far as Texas, Wisconsin, England, and the west coast. Each student will play a role in both Hamlet and Cymbeline.
The opening of program this summer marks the first time in decades that young actors have had the opportunity to train and perform on the historic theater property. In a new take on traditional Shakespeare training, the students are pursuing an interdisciplinary, collaborative, ensemble-based course of study.
For performance times and ticket reservations, please visit the program’s website at www.shakespeareacademystratford.org.