Evening, Polonius’ drawing room. Ophelia enters. She bears a candle in remembrance for her three men, all perished: her brother Laertes and lover Hamlet, both slain in duel, following the untimely murder by Hamlet’s dagger of her father Polonius. Numbed by grief, she swallows herself with madness. For she longs for them. She wishes them at her side. She craves a word with them. She begins to remember.
Ophelia wants to love and be loved. And so it shall be.
Ophelia: Madness (in blue) is a music theatre production, celebrating the other story of Shakespeare's virtuous and passionate heroine. In this extraordinary 45 minute work, originally composed in 1983 by acclaimed Russian pianist and composer Sergei Dreznin, audiences hear the story of Shakespeare’s young maiden retold in song, combining blues, jazz and classical vocals, Elizabethan verse and cello and piano accompaniment. This lyrical reimagining of 'Hamlet' enjoyed its UK premiere at The Kitchen (The Station) in Bristol in November 2016, delighting and captivating audiences.
" a powerful and intense production, cleverly transforming one of the most traditional works of English literature into a modern musical that does not lose or corrupt the message of the original text. The cast perform with an amazing intensity that stays with you long after you have left the room."
"undeniably different, experimental and thought-provoking, raising questions about the wider context of Shakespeare."
STEM Theatre: The Company & the Production:
STEM Theatre, the company behind 'Ophelia: Madness (in blue)', is a diverse collective of artists, musicians, practitioners and theatre-makers, based in London and Bristol.
Before arriving in Bristol and being freshly interpreted by this independent collective of some of Bristol and London's finest creative talent, 'Ophelia: Madness (in blue)' was shown at Yale Drama and Guildford School of Acting, and has enjoyed performances in capital cities worldwide, including Moscow, New York and Vienna.
The production is now ready to spread its wings and tour around the UK. You can find out more about us and the production by checking out our website, http://opheliamadnessinblue.weebly.com/.
Where Crowdfunding is needed:
The company have designed a small, intimate tour of 'Ophelia: Madness (in blue)' to the North and South of England, in Summer 2017. So far, we are on the programmes of Bristol Shakespeare Festival and the Greater Manchester Fringe. These performances will also be accompanied by a preview performance to London audiences at the Camden Fringe in August. The tour will bring this unique and resonant work to a variety of communities. It will also include enriching, educational workshops for schools and universities, wherein a number of aspects of theatre, music and text will be explored. These workshops will be devised and facilitated by members of the company.
We are also excited to create Q & A sessions and open discussions about the productions rich and contemporary themes, which will create an opportunity for people to get involved with the timeless, dynamic world of Shakespeare. In addition, we propose to create outreach opportunities for young creatives to volunteer with us and get their first true taste of producing and touring independent theatre. We need to gather the resources to afford materials and space for workshops, to afford booking venues and to reach out to the communities we hope to introduce 'Ophelia: Madness (in blue)' to.
Breakdown of our Funding Needs:
- Festival admission fees
- Booking venues in the South & North of England
- Booking a venue in London
- Booking space for workshop development & facilitation to accompany the tour
- Advertising & Publicity for the performance and associated workshops & talks (physical printing & digital advertising)
- Transport costs for set pieces, costume, props, and musical instruments
We estimate the cost of these elements combined to fall within the region of £1000-£1500, with the hiring of spaces for performing and holding workshops coming in as the most expensive. Our tour dates run between July and August 2017 and we would love to bring 'Ophelia: Madness (in blue)' to as many different communities as we can. We're especially interested in sharing our work with the next generation of theatre makers, performing artists and musicians-which makes visiting universities and schools a priority of ours!
You can find out more about STEM Theatre, the cast and production on our beautiful website:
Follow us on Twitter @Ophelia_In_Blue
Thank you very much for your interest. Any donation, large or small, will be a big boost in our efforts to bring this wonderful show to audiences across the UK. We can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. The producer can be contacted via Crowdfunder, or alternatively email@example.com. Please feel free to drop us a line if you have any inquiries, we would love to hear from you.
Director: Luce Dreznin
Producer: Molly Olivia Rodelli
Musical Director/Pianist: Harry Haden-Brown
Composer: Sergei Dreznin
Cellist: George Owen
Set Designer/Production Assistant: Kate Stokes
Costume Designer: Eduoard Gallais
Ophelia: Sandra Kassman
Hamlet: Tom Manson
Laertes: Jake Snowdon
Polonius: Shaun Wood