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Fortinbras - Opens July 2, 2022

Fortinbras
by Lee Blessing
directed by Michael R. Cohen
Saturday/Sunday/Monday July 2nd/3rd/4th at 3 p.m.
July 10th at 3 p.m.

July 16th & 17th at 3 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday July 23rd 24th at 3 p.m.
Kensington Amphitheater (Reservations)

FORTINBRAS is the story of what happened after Hamlet - the sequel, if you prefer. In the story, Fortinbras has been granted via Hamlet's dying words the key to the kingdom of Denmark. Upon arriving and being told the story of lust, betrayal, murder, suicide, and just plain old dithering, Fortinbras decides this story won't do for his plan to consolidate his power, and orders Horatio and his underlings to make up a new, better, more noble and palatable story as to how he obtained his position. The ghosts of Hamlet come back to haunt Fortinbras, in order to force him to let the truth be told. A humorous tale, but one with a real message for our times - the importance of the TRUTH!

Presented Free of Charge (Donations encouraged) at the beautiful Kensington Amphitheatre, 

Saturday/Sunday/Monday July 2nd/3rd/4th | Sunday, July 10th | Saturday/Sunday July 16th and 17th | Saturday/Sunday July 23rd 24th  -  all at 3 p.m.

(Reservations) The performance is approximately 1 and 1/2 hours long plus a short intermission.The performance is FREE but we are asking $20 for advance reservations, the amphitheatre opens 45 minutes before the performance"

FORTINBRAS is performed at the Kensington Amphitheatre, 59 Arlington Avenue, Kensington, CA 94707, located just behind the Kensington Community Center. There is parking onsite. Note this is NOT the Kensington Amphitheatre on Coventry.  The venue may also be accessed via the #7 bus from the El Cerrito Del Norte BART.

Note that we will ask the audience to wear masks when not eating/drinking and we check for vaccination. Also, there will be no food sold or served at the performance, but you are welcome to bring your own.

With: Kenneth Matis as Fortinbras, Liddy Freeman as Hamlet, Helen Kim as Horatio, Kara S. Poon as Ophelia, Ronnie Anderson as Osric, Lisa Wang as Gertrude, Bruce Kaplan as Claudius, Jeff Trescott as Polonius, Illan Halpern as Laertes and Marcellus, Abe Karplus as Barnardo, Miranda Tilley and Lyra Smith as Polish Maidens, and Isaiah Tweed as a Captain in the Norwegian Army.

Directed by Michael R. Cohen.  Costumes by Paula Aiello, Set Design by Isaiah Tweed.  Graphic Design by Sophie Ruf.  Fight Choreography by Jeff Trescott. Makeup & Hair by Kara S. Poon. Stage Management by Mel Feder and Lyra Smith.  Produced by Jerome Solberg.

The performance is FREE but we are asking $20 for advance reservations, the amphitheatre opens 45 minutes before the performance.


Cast & Crew

Ronnie Anderson (Osric) is excited to return to the stage, after a decade long hiatus, especially with Actors Ensemble where he directed Lips Together, Teeth ApartShe Loves Me, and produced Other People’s Money. Other productions he's directed include A Day in Hollywood/A Night in UkraineMack & Mable, Fools, Communicating Doors, and Twelfth Night

His favorite acting roles are Charlie from The Foreigner, Jesus from Godspell, and Lord Evelyn from Anything Goes. Ronnie dedicates his performance to his mentor, the late Ralph Miller: long-time AE Board Member, true humanitarian, brilliant actor and good friend.



Liddy Freeman (Hamlet) began performing on stage at age nine as Marta in The Sound of Music and continued acting until graduating from the University of Florida with a B.A. in theater. Her favorite roles include playing Alice in Closer and Martha in Waiting for the Parade. After an eleven year break from acting, during which Liddy explored her interests in photography, tech sales, dance and energy healing, she is SO excited to be back on stage as Hamlet in Fortinbras!

 

 




Illan F. Halpern (Laertes/Marcellus) has acted in plays in Brazil, Canada and the east and west coasts of the United States. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from UC Berkeley, and a minor in Theater Arts from MIT. After being in two AE play readings (Lysistrata and Machinal), he is thrilled to be making his main stage debut with Actors Ensemble in this production of Fortinbras.

 




Bruce Kaplan (he/him) (Claudius) is so excited to be performing again in the great outdoors with AE. In previous summers, he has appeared here in Twelfth Night (Malvolio), The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged, and yes, as Claudius in AE’s Fortinbras in 2013. Other favorite roles include Jaques in As You Like It and Buck in Rocket Man (Masquers Playhouse).

If you love outdoor theater, head over to Orinda Community Center in September for Pygmalion (Doolittle). Thanks for supporting community theater!

 




Abe Karplus (Barnardo) has been acting since the age of four, performing with West Performing Arts of Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara's Shakespeare in the Park, and the BL Rocky Horror shadowcast, among many others. This is his second time with Actors Ensemble: previously, he played M. de Bonnefoi in The Imaginary Invalid. Outside of theater, Abe is a software engineer, working on designing communications satellites to bring internet access to underserved areas.

 

 




Helen Kim (Horatio) is thrilled to be working again with Actors Ensemble. She is a Bay Area actor who has previously worked with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Actors Space, and Ross Valley Players. Her training includes American Conservatory Theater, Voicetrax, and The Groundlings.

Love and gratitude to Matt and all who have encouraged and supported her.

 




Kenneth Matis (Fortinbras) is excited to be performing in his first production for Actors Ensemble. Previously, he's had roles throughout the Bay Area from Marin to Half Moon Bay.  Most recently, he played the Simon Bright for San Leandro Player's The Games Afoot and in Much Ado About Nothing for the Food Bank Players in Alameda.

 

 

 

 




Kara S. Poon (Ophelia, Makeup Artist & Hair) studied comparative literature, and theatre & performance studies at UC Berkeley (class of 2020), as well as English dramaturgy at the University of Cambridge. Her wide range of passions include screenwriting, playing the piano and saxophones, and exploring flavorful wines. Kara's array of experiences around the world, as well as her identity as a disabled artist, has informed her to tell stories in as universally accessible ways as possible.

 

 

 




Lyra Smith (Polish Maiden, Co-Stage Manager) is overjoyed to be returning to the stage after a long hiatus. She has been active behind the scenes at Ross Valley Players as an Assistant Stage Manager for their productions of Moll Flanders, The Odd Couple, and She Loves Me. Most recently she served as Stage Manager for RVP’s production of The Packrat Gene directed by Michael R, Cohen.

 

 

 




Miranda Tilley (Polish Maiden) is excited to be doing her third show with Actors Ensemble, her first appearance being in The Caucasian Chalk Circle as Grusha.  She's a recent graduate of Sonoma State University and sends her love to Sam.

 

 

 

 




Jeff Trescott (Polonius, Fight Choreography) has appeared in many roles in the Bay Area and elsewhere, including Hamlet in Hamlet, Polonius in Hamlet, and Barrymore in I Hate Hamlet.

 

 

 

 




Isaiah Tweed (Set Designer, Captain in the Norwegian Army) is an artist, designer, world traveler, and now an actor! He previously collaborated with the Santa Fe-based art collective Meow Wolf, and is now based in Oakland. During the day he spends his time as an integral part of the Monkeybrains team, providing world class internet service throughout the Bay Area. Previous to Fortinbras he acted as the fabricator/build for Actors Ensemble's production of Mothers All for its performances at Monkeybrains and Lighting/Build/Fabricator on Galatea a Rock Musical at Counter Pulse Theater in San Francisco in 2019. He sends his love to Racyne.




Lisa Wang (Gertrude) is thrilled to be returning to Actors Ensemble, and has wonderful memories of performing outdoor theatre with them, which is a special brand of magic. Prior productions include: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged, The Marriage of Figaro and Pride and Prejudice.  Lisa is an actor/improviser who has performed with various companies in addition to Actors Ensemble, including Berkeley Shakespeare Company, Contra Costa Civic Theatre, San Leandro Players and Playwrights Center of SF. You can catch Lisa performing improvised theatre regularly in San Francisco at BATS Improv as a Company member. More at improv.org.

 




ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

Fortinbras is the story of what happened after Hamlet - the sequel, if you prefer.  In the story, Fortinbras has been granted via Hamlet's dying words the key to the kingdom of Denmark.  Upon arriving and being told the story of lust, betrayal, murder, suicide, and just plain old dithering, Fortinbras decides this story won't do for his plan to consolidate his power.  He orders Horatio and his underlings to make up a new, better, more noble and palatable story as to how he obtained his position.  The ghosts of Hamlet come back to haunt Fortinbras (and make mischief) in order to force him to let the truth be told.  A humorous tale, but one with a real message for our times - the importance of the TRUTH!

Presented Free of Charge (Donations encouraged), Saturday/Sunday/Monday July 2nd/3rd/4th, Sunday July 10th, Saturday/Sunday July 16th/17th and Saturday/Sunday July 23rd/24th.  All performances are at 3 pm (note this is one hour earlier than our historical time of 4 pm).  The performance is approximately 1 and 1/2 hours long plus a short intermission.  The amphitheatre will open to patrons 45 minutes before showtime.  Patrons will be required to wear masks when not eating/drinking and show proof of vaccination.

FORTINBRAS is performed at the Kensington Amphitheatre, 59 Arlington Avenue, Kensington, CA 94707, located just behind the Kensington Community Center. There is parking onsite. Note this is NOT the Kensington Amphitheatre on Coventry.  The venue may also be accessed via the #7 bus from the El Cerrito Del Norte BART.


Actors Ensemble is the longest-running theatre organization in Berkeley, founded in 1957. We aim to produce quality theatre emphasizing the ensemble, with a community flavor.

Actors Ensemble
P.O. Box 663
Berkeley, CA 94701
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www.aeofberkeley.org
A 501(3)(c) organization

Actors Ensemble Facebook Group

Thank You

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley is delighted to acknowledge the Berkeley Civic Arts Program and Civic Arts Commission's support in the form of a grant of $8,000.00 awarded in 2017. Also, a thank you to Theatre Bay Area for a grant of $2,500.00.

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley - P.O. Box 663 - Berkeley - California - 94701 ¦ Our Answering Service: (510) 649-5999 ¦

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Federal Tax ID #946139640, since 04-1967