Sonoma State University Stages a Contemporary Spin on “Hamlet”


Hamlet’s world has been utterly destroyed: his father is dead, his throne is usurped, his mother remarries, his girlfriend abandons him and there are spies everywhere. Then Hamlet is told to kill the king.  What’s a young person to do?

Sonoma State University Dept. of Theatre Arts & Dance presents this main stage production of “Hamlet” with a limited run of performances from May 4 to May 8, 2016. (The opening performance on May 3 is sold-out).

Featuring one of the most compelling characters ever created, “Hamlet” is a revenge tragedy about an innocent young man plunged into a sea of corruption and subterfuge. Director and Sonoma State University Professor of Theatre Arts Paul Draper transports “Hamlet” to a contemporary context in modern dress on an intimate stage.

“The play’s melodrama is palpable. Though the challenges Hamlet confronts are not so black and white,” says Draper. “For all his training, intellect, wit and skill – the young prince is not prepared for the job he has been given.”

“We all face the pressures of becoming adults, forced to navigate and make sense of the world,” says Draper. “ ‘Hamlet’ offers a glimpse into the anarchic, thrilling and ultimately dangerous landscape of a promising young prince trapped in a kingdom of conspiracy and betrayal. What is Hamlet’s fate? How do we answer his question of ‘to be or not to be?’ – and what does it mean for our times?”

“Friends and Family Night” on Thursday, May 5 begins with a pre-show discussion from 6:30 to 7 p.m. The performance follows at 7:30 p.m. SSU faculty, staff and alumni are admitted free and standard, senior and visiting student tickets are only $5 per person at this performance.

WHEN: May 4 to May 8, 2016
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 4; Thursday, May 5; Friday, May 6; and Saturday, May 7
2 p.m. Sunday, May 8

TICKET PRICES: $5 to $17
Admission prices from $5 to $17. Sonoma State University students are admitted free to all productions with valid student ID. Tickets are $10 non-SSU students and seniors; $15 Sonoma State University Faculty and Staff; and $17 standard admission. “Friends and Family Night” is Thursday, May 5 when SSU faculty, staff and alumni are admitted free and standard, senior and visiting student tickets are only $5 per person.


LOCATION: Sonoma State University
Evert B. Person Theatre, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Evert B. Person Theatre is accessed through the main entrance to Sonoma State University.

PARKING: From the South entrance on East Cotati Avenue, turn right at the stop sign in front of the information kiosk. Park in Lots E (left) and F (right). Parking in SSU lots is $5 at all times. Permits may be purchased from the vending machines located at the entrance to parking lots, or at toll booths when available.

PHONE / BOX OFFICE: 707-664-4246
The box office is located on the first floor of the Student Center. On performance nights, depending on the venue, the Person Theatre or Ives Hall box office will open one hour prior to the event start time. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday and one hour prior to all performances. Contact the box office at 707-664-4246 or email