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About The Production

“You wake up one day and your father is dead. A ghost tells you he was murdered, and that you have to avenge him. Your uncle has married your mother, and he's wearing the crown that should have been yours. Your girlfriend is different. Your best friends visit, but not to see you. And no one but you seems to think that anything is strange. The nightmare has begun.” -Christopher Mirto

This production of Hamlet was a new adaptation by Christopher Mirto and Brian Valencia that, at times, seems as though it was Shakespeare’s text ripped apart and sewn together in new and interesting ways. This  new take on Hamlet strove to find new musical and artist elements inherent in the original text and story and re-present them in new ways. Mirto and Valencia described there goal as being to present a version of Hamlet that demanded and challenged the audience to “re-hear” the text. Because of their guiding motivations, it was clear that music and sound design needed to be minimal, to fully support scenes and be deeply ingrained in action on stage.

Early in the design process, Christopher Mirto began to suggest ideas of Vaudeville, carnivals and funhouses for this Hamlet. Further, he desired to bring in something akin to classical music for “the play within the play” and for the final scene surrounding the duel. Also, he expressed an interest in the writing of music for some of Ophelia’s text. Finally, he wanted to explore more experimental sounds for the Ghost of King Hamlet and to develop some manner of auralizing “the netherworld” where characters go after they die onstage. These diverse ideas posed many challenges. However, from the Carnival and funhouse sounding transitions, to the classically inspired Mousetrap music, on to the Death of Ophelia and eventually The Duel, all of these ideas were realized in the production.

Please see the examples to the left for an idea of the sound and music for Hamlet.

Photos by Erik Pearson

Artistic Staff:

Directed by Christopher Mirto

Adapted by Christopher Mirto and Brian Valencia

Scenic Design by Soohee Kim

Costume Design by Sanghee Kim

Lighting Design by Laura Ekelman

Sound Design and Composition by Scott Leigh Nielsen

Production Sound Engineering by Chad Raines

“What a piece of work is man”

-William Shakespeare

Recorded Music:

Engineered by Scott Leigh Nielsen

Double Bass by Alexander Smith

Tenor Saxophone, Electric Bass, Guitar, Waterphone, Chaoscillator, Organ  and Percussion                                  by Scott Leigh Nielsen

All Music Composed, Recorded, Produced and Mixed     

by Scott Leigh Nielsen

Yale School of Drama 2009

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

  Copyright © 2010 Scott Leigh Nielsen - CHAOSCILLATION. All rights reserved.