Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is considered one of the greatest tragedies of all time, and also a sort of proving ground for actors. The latest to “give us his Hamlet” is Atlanta actor Lee Osario, who plays the lead in the Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s production.
“How does this story resonate with us here, now?” Osario asks “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes. “To have information that the leader is perhaps treacherous and lecherous, and not being able to decide whether to trust that information… and thinking about taking someone out of power by any means necessary and the good or ill that could come of that is a really resonant question that I think we’re all struggling with right now.”
“Shakespeare was writing for his modern-day audience, that is now being performed for our modern-day audience,” director Jaclyn Hofmann says.
Atlanta Shakespeare performs in what is known as “Original Practice,” meaning they remain faithful to the spirit of how these shows were performed in the playwright’s day. And Osario says that practice helps him communicate the Bard’s text.
“The lights are up, I can see you,” he says, “if you’re sitting in the front row, if you’re sitting in the balcony, I’m going to be making eye contact with you. I really have to reach out and invite them in.”
“Hamlet” is onstage at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse through May.