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A WORLD PREMIERE: HamletIRAN to go on stage in New York


“Shakespeare is relevant when his works are produced, and just as relevant when the censor stops the production.” Richard Schechner, Dream Interrupted



Edited and adapted by Ralph Blasting and Mahmood Karimi-Hakak

LOUDONVILLE, NEW YORK-The Siena College Creative Arts Department & Stage III present HamletIRAN. Directed by Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, this production places the story of the Danish prince within the events of the recent Green Movement in Iran. HamletIRAN is about a young person’s growth to maturity as he learns of, and reacts to the realities of a time of turmoil in his beloved country. In this production, Hamlet symbolizes the Iranian Green Movement and its leaders; those who struggle with living under a brutal and repressive regime, and who gradually realize that the presidential election was marked by fraud.

The audience is immersed in an environment that involves them in the events of contemporary Iran. They will, as the story of HamletIRANunfolds, viscerally experience the frustration and confusion of political turmoil. They will leave the theatre with many questions, some answers, and a deeper curiosity about current events in the Middle East. By drawing parallels between actual events in Iran and Shakespeare’s magnificent poetry, the artistic team attempts to contemporize this classic play and place it on the world stage.

Performances WHEN: March 30-April 2 & April 6-9 8PM April 3 & 10 | 2PM WHERE: Siena College, Beaudoin Theatre Foy Hall 515 Loudon Road, Loudonville, NY 12211 INFOFORMATION: Mahmood Karimi-Hakak: (518) 783-2372

Artistic Team

Director: Mahmood Karimi-Hakak

Editor/Dramaturge: Ralph Blasting

Designers: Lilly Fossner, Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, Denise Massman, Brian Massman

Voice and Text Coach: Paul Ricciardi

Dr. Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, (Direction and Sets & Costume Design) Professor of Creative Arts at Siena College is a poet, filmmaker, theatre artist and translator. His literary credits include three books of poetry, four translations, six plays, and several articles and essays in both Persian and English. He has created over 50 stage and screen productions in the U.S., Europe and his native Iran, and is the recipient of four international awards. His most recent film, The Glass Wall: A Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue, will premier at Toronto’s 2011 HotDocs International Festival in April.

Dr. Ralph Blasting (Editor & Dramaturge) has been Dean of Liberal Arts and Professor of Theatre at Siena since 2004. With Stage 3, he has directed Perfect Pie, Doubt, and The Second Shepherds’ Play. He appeared as “the mysterious man” in Into the Woods last year. Ralph first collaborated with Mahmood Karimi-Hakak in 1990 and is just starting to get it right.

Denise Massman, MFA (Sets & Costumes Design) is an Assistant Professor of Creative Arts and teaches interdisciplinary and theatre design courses at Siena College. She has come to teaching after years of professional design work. Her most recent costumes designs were for Stageworks Hudson’s OR and Montana Shakespeare in the Park’s, Two Gentleman of Verona. Her upcoming projects are The Merchant of Venice for MTSIP and sets and costumes for The Marriage of Figaro for the Montana Lyric Opera Company.

Paul Ricciardi (Voice & Text Coach) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Siena; he also serves as the resident voice and text coach for the theatre program. As an actor/award winning solo performer, Paul has worked extensively throughout NYC and regionally. Paul is the recipient of the 2009 Kennedy Center National Teaching Artist Award. He earned his MFA in Acting from Trinity Repertory Company.

Lilly Fossner (Lighting Design) works with People’s Light and Theatre, Public Theatre/Culture Project, Juilliard Opera Theatre, Curtain Call Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, and The Berkshire Theatre Festival. She is the lighting supervisor at Glimmerglass Opera Festival, Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She earned her MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Brian Massman (Projection Design) teaches film and media studies at Siena College, and performs regularly as a professional stage actor for a variety of theatres in the Capital area. He has directed two productions at Siena, It Ain’t Easy Being Green and Earth, Humans & Other Humans, and designed video projections for Siena’s productions of Beauty & the Beast and Earth, Humans & Other Humans. Brian also designed projections for Stageworks/Hudson’s premier production of Car Talk and has directed several documentary films including Building Benedictus and The Search for Henry Hudson.

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