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OSF Turns Hamlet on its Skull

Durant Regional Theater Produces a Retelling of Shakespeare’s Classic Play

On Monday June 13th, The Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival began tech week for their production of Hamlet ESP; the second production of their long awaited 43rd season. Their opening production, A COMPANY CABARET, garnered rave reviews and now the company is preparing to bring the Shakespeare to Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival. Due to the pandemic it will have been three years since Shakespeare has graced the stage of the historic Montgomery Auditorium, but this adaption of the classic tale, HAMLET, will be well worth the wait.

HAMLET ESP was written by Paul Baker in 1998 and twists Hamlet on its head, or rather skull, and splits the iconic character into three different people. This imaginatively restructured adaptation of Shakespeare’s immortal play focuses the action in and through the mind of the central character, and employs three actors to elucidate and define his fragmented, yet fascinating, personality. We, the audience, see the story through Hamlet’s eyes and inside his mind, with subtle flashbacks and transpositions to clarify and interpret his present actions. The result is a theatrically rich and emotionally vivid experience, which illuminates and enhances the greatness of the play, while finding new levels of meaning and pertinence within it.

Paul Baker was a renowned artist, director, master educator, and notably the founding artistic director of the Dallas Theater Center. He was both a mentor and friend to the founder of OSF, Molly Risso and worked closely with her on the work of Shakespeare. Getting to honor an astounding work by an author so near and dear to the Risso family only further illuminates the sense of community and family that is a fundamental value to Oklahoma Shakes.

Fourteen actors and seven creative team members helmed by Producing Director Riley Risso Coker have come together to bring you this spectacular production. You, too, can play a role this season by attending one of our shows. Visit our website at Tickets are for sale at our Box Office located at 1st Ave North of University Blvd. and South of Magnolia Ave, or you can call (580) 745-2696 and order your tickets today. For more information, visit

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