Stephen Mills’ Hamlet
SEPT. 15, 16, & 17
SHAKESPEARE’S HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL EXPLORATION OF PASSION AND DECEIT WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY!
Stephen Mills’ critically acclaimed production of Hamlet is a contemporary, bold version of Shakespeare’s timeless tale of revenge, grief, and love. Set to the richly textured music of American composer Philip Glass, Hamlet features Giorgio Armani-inspired costumes, visually-arresting sets, and a gripping portrayal of one of the greatest tragedies of all time.
Heralded by Dance Magazine as “…sleek and sophisticated…” Hamlet is one of Stephen Mills’ most-licensed and traveled works, performed both nationally and internationally.
CONCEPT & CHOREOGRAPHY | Stephen Mills
MUSIC | Philip Glass
RUN TIME | 80 minutes including a 20-minute intermission
- Friday, September 15 at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, September 16 at 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, September 17 at 3:00 p.m.
Please visit our FAQs page for information about parking, discounts, and more.
WHY WE RECOMMEND PURCHASING PERFORMANCE TICKETS *DIRECTLY* FROM BALLET AUSTIN
Ballet Austin strives to share the excitement and beauty of live professional dance with as many community members as possible. *As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, Ballet Austin raises funds throughout the year to help defray part of the production costs in order to bring live performances to you and keep the price of our tickets as low as possible. The following information is intended to assist you as a consumer and help you have the best experience possible.
When you purchase directly from Ballet Austin:
- You are assured your tickets are valid, and your seats are reserved for you/your family/your party.
- You have access to the most affordable ticket prices.* Ballet Austin tickets can range between $15 – $125 dollars (plus applicable fees), depending on location. If you are being asked to pay more per ticket, you are NOT buying from Ballet Austin.
- You have the flexibility to exchange your ticket
/s to another performance for a small handling fee, as tickets remain available.
If you choose to purchase Ballet Austin tickets from sources other than Ballet Austin, we recommend that you:
- Never pay cash or use apps such as Venmo to purchase tickets.
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- Check the Long Center’s Dell Hall seating map to confirm the existence of the seats being offered to you. Long Center Seating Chart
NOTE: Issues related to tickets purchased from a third-party seller will need to be discussed with that company. Ballet Austin will have no record of these sales.
Our goal for each Ballet Austin performance is to create wonderful, lasting memories for you, your family, and your friends. If you have questions, let us help you by contacting our box office at 512.476.2163 or by email at email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Join us for Opening Night at Ballet Austin and enjoy a special offer from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop. Elevate your theater experience today to indulge in the elegance of ballet and the richness of artisan cheese!
Pre-order your Antonelli’s Shareable Snack Platter for the Opening Night of Stephen Mill’s Hamlet, Friday Sept. 15th only. Each platter serves 2 and features 2 artisan cheeses, 1 meat, fresh and dried fruit, pickles, corn nuts, a jam, and some sweet bites. The platter also includes 2 beverages – your choice of red or white wine, or non-alcoholic coffee, soda, sparkling cranberry, or bottled water.
Orders MUST be placed by Wednesday, Sept. 13th.
No Substitutions | No Refunds
Already purchased tickets for Opening Night?
Videos by Paul Michael Bloodgood
Photography by Anne Marie Bloodgood
Concept & Choreography
Known for his innovative and collaborative choreographic projects, Stephen Mills has works in the repertoires of dance companies across the United States and around the world.
His international career began in 1998 after being chosen Prix d’Auteur at les Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris. In his inaugural season as Artistic Director of Ballet Austin in 2000, Mills attracted national attention with Hamlet, hailed by Dance Magazine as “…sleek and sophisticated.”
Mills’ works showcased at The Kennedy Center include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, and performances at the Ballet Across America Festival in collaboration with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet.
In 2005 Mills developed a community-wide human rights collaborative dialogue culminating in his signature work Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project for which he received the Audrey and Raymond Maislin Humanitarian Award from The Anti-Defamation League. Mills contributed a podcast about Light to the Voices on Anti-Semitism series at The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and was invited to speak about the work at The United Nations in 2014. Light has been performed in five U.S. cities, in three cities in Israel, and was recently featured in an Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary, Sharing Light.
Musician Philip Glass, born on January 31, 1937, in Baltimore, went on to study with Nadia Boulanger and Ravi Shankar, later forming the Philip Glass Ensemble. He received accolades for his debut opera, Einstein on the Beach, and eventually earned Oscar nominations for scoring the films Kundun, The Hours and Notes on a Scandal. Known for his distinctive contemporary minimalism, Glass has worked with artists from a variety of disciplines.
Background and Education
Philip Glass was born on January 31, 1937, in Baltimore. He took up the violin and flute and began performing before reaching his teens. Glass took classes at the Peabody Institute’s conservatory and later studied at the University of Chicago and The Juilliard School.
Studies With Ravi Shankar
Glass eventually decided to travel to Europe, studying under conductor Nadia Boulanger and sitar musician Ravi Shankar, whom Glass cited as a major influence on his craft.
Glass adopted an approach to musical composition that relied on repetitive, sometimes subtly nuanced musical structures that would be seen as a cornerstone of contemporary minimalism. (The composer later saw the term “minimalism” as an outdated way of describing his work and the varying sounds of up-and-coming artists.) He formed the electric Philip Glass Ensemble in 1967, an avant-garde group that would continue to earn buzz over the years, if not universal acclaim.
Biography courtesy of biography.com
Stephen Mills’ Hamlet Synopsis
The ballet begins near the story’s ending with Hamlet mortally wounded. As he lies dying he relives the events that brought him to this place.
Hamlet arrives home from school and is told of his father’s untimely death. His mother Gertrude is celebrating her marriage to Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius.
Ophelia’s father and brother, Polonius and Laertes, want her to have nothing to do with Hamlet. Hamlet’s mourning for his father is so intense that Ophelia comforts him. Seeing this, Polonius forbids her to see Hamlet.
In the dark vacant ballroom, visions appear to Hamlet. The ghost of his dead father visits and tells Hamlet that his death was not an accident: He was murdered as he lay sleeping by his own brother, Claudius. The ghost asks Hamlet to avenge his murder, Hamlet agrees.
As he replays the story in his mind he begins to come unraveled. Hamlet is confronted by three visions of himself as he fights to keep his sanity. Obeying her father’s orders, Ophelia attempts to return love letters she has received from Hamlet. Questioning Ophelia’s motive, the fragile Hamlet rejects her.
A group of street performers attract a crowd. Hamlet convinces them to re-enact the story of his father’s death in a performance for Gertrude and Claudius. Hamlet hopes Claudius’ reaction will confirm what the ghost has said. Upon seeing the play, Claudius becomes disoriented and enraged and flees the scene.
A distraught Claudius begs the heavens for forgiveness. Polonius takes the overwhelmed Gertrude back to her room but hides when he hears Hamlet entering. Hamlet tries to understand Gertrude’s explanation of why she has married Claudius so quickly after his father’s death. An argument ensues. As Polonius tries to escape the turmoil he is accidentally stabbed by Hamlet. Gertrude is horrified. To pacify her unbalanced son, she promises that she will stay away from Claudius. Hamlet flees.
After the death of her father and rejection of Hamlet, Ophelia sinks deeply into madness. While swimming she drowns.
All have gathered for the funeral of Ophelia. Upon hearing of her death, Hamlet comes out of hiding. Everyone has heard of Polonius’ murder and avoids Hamlet. Claudius lays all the blame, including Ophelia’s madness, on Hamlet. Laertes becomes enraged. As the crowd disperses Claudius convinces Laertes that he must avenge his father’s death.
The shock of seeing Ophelia’s lifeless body sends Hamlet into great introspection. As he dreams, the demons of his mind visit and in the end, he is crushed.
Hamlet has been challenged to what he thinks is a sporting match of fencing. Claudius has conspired with Laertes to poison Hamlet with a drink. In case this fails, Laertes has dipped his foil in poison. One drop of the potion will kill. Claudius continually tries to persuade Hamlet to drink but he will not. Gertrude toasting her son’s fine showing in the match, accidentally drinks from the poison chalice intended for Hamlet. Seeing that the plan has been ruined, Laertes intervenes by cutting Hamlet with his poison foil. Hamlet is furious that Laertes has purposely cut him and begins to fight in earnest, stabbing Laertes. At this moment the poison takes its effect upon Gertrude. As she dies she tells Hamlet that she’s been poisoned. At his death, Laertes confesses the whole plot; Hamlet’s poisoning and Claudius’ deception. Hamlet gathers all his strength and with his foil kills Claudius.
Morgan Stillman – Friday, September 15 at 7:30pm and Sunday, September 17 at 3:00pm
Paul Martin – Saturday, September 16 at 7:30pm
Grace Morton – Friday, September 15 at 7:30pm and Sunday, September 17 at 3:00pm
Vivien Farrell – Saturday, September 16 at 7:30pm
Elise Pekarek* / Katherine Deuitch**
James Fuller* / Colin Canavan**
Chelsea Marie Renner, Courtney Holland, Dianetzy Rojas*/Isabella Phillips Lynch**, Alyssa Manguiat*/Sahel Flora Pascual**, Lexi Eicher*/Meg Kataoka**
Andrew Buckley, Tristin Filsinger, Kyawzwa Jeremy Lwin, Jack Morris, Ezra Schenck*/Colin Heino**
Ian J. Bethany
Isabella Phillips Lynch*/Dianetzy Rojas**, Tristin Filsinger, Andrew Buckley
Chelsea Marie Renner, Courtney Holland, Sahel Flora Pascual*/Alyssa Manguiat**
*September 15 at 7:30pm & September 17 at 3:00pm
**September 16 at 7:30pm
Casting is subject to change