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1227892 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2012-05-01 21:34:04.0 UTC 2012-05-01T17:34:04.000-04:00 asolo-repertory-theatre-takes-on-shakespeare-in-two-languages-with-hamlet Published 2012-05-01 23:08:17.0 UTC 2012-05-01T19:08:17.000-04:00 features/performingarts DTI 91551679 Michael Donald Edwards, artistic director of the Asolo Repertory Theatre, figures the company will make history on Thursday when it stages Hamlet in a new Spanish translation by Nilo Cruz. It's an adaptation by Edwards called Hamlet, Prince of Cuba that the Sarasota theater has been performing in English since March. "When we open this show in Spanish, we will be the first theater company to do a great Shakespeare play in two languages with the same company of actors," said Edwards, director of the production. "Everybody is pumped. We all know we're attempting something rare." Edwards was inspired to do a bilingual Hamlet by the Florida actors he knows who are fluent in English and Spanish, such as Frankie J. Alvarez, the 27-year-old Cuban-American in the title role. "It's only possible because we live in this unique cultural melting pot that is Florida, where a great many of its citizens, their first language is Spanish," the director said. "An actor like Frankie represents the future in many ways." For Edwards, an experienced Shakespearean, Hamlet was the best play to present bilingually "because it's the greatest play written and its story is about the destructive power of revenge on two families. That seemed really apropos to the Cuban-American story, which is as complicated and irrational as any family dynamic I can imagine." The Asolo adaptation is set in Cuba in 1898, and Edwards has worked in references such as the Afro-Cuban santeria religion in scenes with the ghost of Hamlet's father. He cut the text. "I wanted it to be a short and rather active event," the director said. The Spanish translation by Cruz, a Cuban-American whose Anna in the Tropics won the Pulitzer Prize, does not attempt to duplicate the iambic pentameter of Shakespeare. "Here is a Hamlet in a Cuba that allows him to break from the prism of rhymes to embrace the dark sounds of his restless soul," the playwright said in an essay. On Tuesday, the cast rehearsed Hamlet, Prince of Cuba in Spanish in the afternoon, then gave a performance of the play in English at night. "To do Hamlet in the first place is already a ridiculously challenging task," Edwards said. "There can only be attempts to do Hamlet; it can never be fully actualized, which is why we keep doing it. Then to attempt it in another language is a bit mad." Performances in Spanish, with English supertitles, are at 8 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Saturday. $26-$69. (941) 351-8000 or toll-free 1-800-361-8388; asolorep.org. Phanatics: Fans of The Phantom of the Opera would enjoy performances this week of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical by the theater department at the Pinellas County Center of the Arts, the arts magnet program at Gibbs High School, 850 34th St. S, St. Petersburg. More than 120 students are involved in the production, which caps the career of theater department administrator Ralph Nurmela, who is retiring after 25 years with the school system. 8 p.m. today, Thursday and Friday in the Building 4 Grand Theatre on the Gibbs campus. $10, $20. (727) 893-5452. John Fleming can be reached at fleming@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8716. By John Fleming, Times Performing Arts Critic Features,Performing Arts Asolo Repertory Theatre takes on Shakespeare in two languages with 'Hamlet, Prince of Cuba' JFLEMINGN 4STB Main A bilingual Bard 2 Etc_Wings050212 A bilingual Bard 2012-05-02 04:00:00.0 UTC 2012-05-02T00:00:00.000-04:00 Gertrude (Mercedes Herrero), left, and Hamlet (Frankie J. Alvarez)&#65279; in Asolo&#8217;s Hamlet, Prince of Cuba. resources/images/dti/2012/05/b4s-hamlet050212_220704a.jpg Photo by Gary W. Sweetman resources/images/dti/rendered/2012/05/b4s-hamlet050212_220704a_4col.jpgresources/images/dti/rendered/2012/05/b4s-hamlet050212_220704a_8col.jpg Hamlet, Prince of Cuba, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Michael Donald Edwards, Nilo Cruz true templatedata/tampabaytimes/StaffArticle/data/2012/05/01/91551679-asolo-repertory-theatre-takes-on-shakespeare-in-two-languages-with-hamlet StaffArticle 2012-11-18 17:01:59.0 UTC 2012-11-18T12:01:59.000-05:00 Michael Donald Edwards, artistic director of the Asolo Repertory Theatre, figures the company will make history on Thursday when it stages Hamlet in a new Spanish translation by Nilo Cruz. It's an adaptation by Edwards called Hamlet, Prince of Cuba that the Sarasota theater has been performing in English since March.Hamlet, Prince of Cuba, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Michael Donald Edwards, Nilo Cruz<span style="display:none;" class="author vcard"><span class="fn">JOHN FLEMING</span></span><span style="display:none;" class="source-org vcard"><span class="org fn">Tampa Bay Times</span></span><a rel="item-license" href="/universal/user_agreement.shtml">&#169; 2016 Tampa Bay Times</a><br /><br />Times Performing Arts Critic 2261104 2016-01-13 15:55:25.0 UTC 7 Months Ago review-two-new-books-take-different-approaches-to-nixons-downfall features/books Review: Two new books take different approaches to Nixon's downfall StaffArticle 2276019 2016-05-05 03:18:59.0 UTC 4 Months Ago princes-addiction-and-an-intervention-too-late features/celebrities Prince's addiction and an intervention too late StaffArticle 2282824 2016-06-23 14:26:05.0 UTC 2 Months Ago review-anne-tyler-gives-shakespeares-shrew-a-smart-update features/books Review: Anne Tyler gives Shakespeare's 'Shrew' a smart update StaffArticle <p>Michael Donald Edwards, artistic director of the Asolo Repertory Theatre, figures the company will make history on Thursday when it stages <i>Hamlet</i> in a new Spanish translation by Nilo Cruz. It's an adaptation by Edwards called <i>Hamlet, Prince of Cuba</i> that the Sarasota theater has been performing in English since March.</p> <p>&quot;When we open this show in Spanish, we will be the first theater company to do a great Shakespeare play in two languages with the same company of actors,&quot; said Edwards, director of the production. &quot;Everybody is pumped. We all know we're attempting something rare.&quot;</p> <p>Edwards was inspired to do a bilingual <i>Hamlet</i> by the Florida actors he knows who are fluent in English and Spanish, such as Frankie J. Alvarez, the 27-year-old Cuban-American in the title role. &quot;It's only possible because we live in this unique cultural melting pot that is Florida, where a great many of its citizens, their first language is Spanish,&quot; the director said. &quot;An actor like Frankie represents the future in many ways.&quot;</p> <p>For Edwards, an experienced Shakespearean, <i>Hamlet</i> was the best play to present bilingually &quot;because it's the greatest play written and its story is about the destructive power of revenge on two families. That seemed really apropos to the Cuban-American story, which is as complicated and irrational as any family dynamic I can imagine.&quot;</p> <p>The Asolo adaptation is set in Cuba in 1898, and Edwards has worked in references such as the Afro-Cuban santeria religion in scenes with the ghost of Hamlet's father. He cut the text. &quot;I wanted it to be a short and rather active event,&quot; the director said. </p> <p>The Spanish translation by Cruz, a Cuban-American whose <i>Anna in the Tropics</i> won the Pulitzer Prize, does not attempt to duplicate the iambic pentameter of Shakespeare. &quot;Here is a Hamlet in a Cuba that allows him to break from the prism of rhymes to embrace the dark sounds of his restless soul,&quot; the playwright said in an essay.</p> <p>On Tuesday, the cast rehearsed <i>Hamlet, Prince of Cuba</i> in Spanish in the afternoon, then gave a performance of the play in English at night.</p> <p>&quot;To do <i>Hamlet </i>in the first place is already a ridiculously challenging task,&quot; Edwards said. &quot;There can only be attempts to do <i>Hamlet</i>; it can never be fully actualized, which is why we keep doing it. Then to attempt it in another language is a bit mad.&quot;</p> <p>Performances in Spanish, with English supertitles, are at 8 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Saturday. $26-$69. (941) 351-8000 or toll-free 1-800-361-8388; asolorep.org.</p> <p><b>Phanatics:</b> Fans of <i>The Phantom of the Opera</i> would enjoy performances this week of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical by the theater department at the Pinellas County Center of the Arts, the arts magnet program at Gibbs High School, 850 34th St. S, St. Petersburg. More than 120 students are involved in the production, which caps the career of theater department administrator Ralph Nurmela, who is retiring after 25 years with the school system. 8 p.m. today, Thursday and Friday in the Building 4 Grand Theatre on the Gibbs campus. $10, $20. (727) 893-5452.</p> <p><i>John Fleming can be reached at fleming@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8716.</i></p>trueruntime2016-08-30 06:01:02