H a m l e t

A n   E x p l o r a t i o n

Purchase Tickets

To purchase tickets to Hamlet: An Exploration, this July at the 13th Street Repertory Theatre, CLICK HERE!


Matt de Rogatis

as Hamlet

Matt wishes to extend his deepest gratitude to the producers (Nine Theatricals), the director (Jay Michaels) and the 13th Street Repertory General Manager (Joe Battista) for all of their contributions to the show. He also thanks photographer (Chris Loupos) and Graphic Designer (Michael Loupos) for their talent and hard work invested into the project.

Previous New York City and Regional credits include “Stanley Kowalski” in A Streetcar Named Desire, “Tom Wingfield” in The Glass Menagerie, “Ken” in Red, and “The Elephant Man” in The Exhibition just to name a few. After Hamlet, he will be playing “Frederick Clegg” in the New York City Off Broadway premiere of The Collector, taking place this Fall at 59E59 Theatres.

A method actor, Matt studied with various teachers and coaches in the New York City area. He dedicates his performance in Hamlet to his big buddy, the late, “Big” Al Cohen.

David Arthur Bachrach

as Claudius

David Arthur Bachrach is delighted to be making his debut with Nine Theatricals and to be working once again with Jay Michaels, having played a featured role in last November’s workshop of Adding Machine, The Musical, along with many other stage projects, including Richard III and Hamlet, First Folio. David Arthur has worked most recently with Gemini CollisionWorks (Ian W. Hill & Berit Johnson), having appeared in My First Autograce Homeography (1973-1974); Antrobus; Devils; A LittlePiece of the Sun; Everything Must Go! (Invisible Republic #2); Removal; The Magnificent Ambersons; and NORD HAUSEN FLY ROBOT (Invisible Republic #3).

Other roles: King of Hearts, ALICE! (Patrick Cann & Sybil Lines). Shepherd/Jailor, The Winter’s Tale (dir. Nicholas Martin-Smith). Chebutikin, The Three Sisters (dir. Eric Parness). Mayor Gaspenhausen, A Brief History of Murder (dir. Ivanna Cullinan). He has performed in four of Alan Stolzer’s plays, including a production of The Undetermined Soldier, along with reads of First Caliber, Forgiveness and And Harmony For None.

Other Musical Plays: Sir Evelyn Estebrooke [The Mikado], The Singapore Mikado & The Revered, Happy End (dir. David Fuller). Snitchey/Malkey, The Christmas Bride, Baron de Sterck, Mesmerized & Bones, The Elephant Piece (dir. Al D’Andrea).

David Arthur is currently working on the role of Russell Brissenden in an adaptation of Jack London’s novel, Marten Eden, with music, book and lyrics by Gregory Nissen. Martin Eden will be performed at the National Opera Center America in May. www.davidarthurbachrach.com

Linda S. Nelson

as Queen Gertrude

Ms. Nelson is thrilled to be working with Nine Theatricals, Jay Michaels and Matt de Rogatis for the first time. Her other Shakespearean roles include Boyet in Loves Labours Lost, Queen Margaret in Richard III, Mistress Quickly in Henry VI Part I (all with Boomerang Theatre Company) and the Garter Inn Host in Merry Wives of Windsor (Oberon Theatre Ensemble). Ms. Nelson held the leads Off Broadway in The Fiascos, the World Premiere of Bakersfield Mist at NJ Rep, Dead People’s Things by Iona Lloyd, directed by Tony Award Winner Tonya Pinkins, and in Tennessee William’s Small Craft Warnings produced by Whitehorse Theatre Company. Other New York Productions include Anna Christie, Prelude To A Kiss, Thousand Variations of a Lie Told Once (Best Actress Nom – MITF), Thank Emily by Richard Manley (Best Actress Winner – American Globe Ten Minute Play Festival), Girls’ Guide to Chaos, Frankie & Johnny ..., and The Chaos Theories by Academy Award and Golden Globe Winner, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. (Shotgun Productions).

Her Film Credits include “Imaginary Heroes” opposite Sigourney Weaver, “Q&A” opposite Nick Nolte, and the stop-action film and voiceover for the video game “Bully”. Ms. Nelson can be seen in the new season of “Orange Is the New Black” as Ruth Murphy, and next winter will be performing once again with Whitehorse at The Players’ Club in another Tennessee William’s play, The Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot. Ms. Nelson is also a director, dramaturge, and is the Executive Producer of LSNelson Productions currently representing Traci’s Godfrey’s Sweet Texas Reckoning, and touring Stu Richel’s one man show Vietnam…through my lens, www.throughmylens.com. A member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA, she can be reached at LSNActs@nyc.rr.com.

Lorraine Mattox

as Ophelia

Lorraine Mattox graduated from Florida State University's School of Theatre. She is a New York based actor and has worked on a variety of film, theater & radio projects. She’s had the privilege to tour internationally with theater company Temporary Distortion.

Most recently she was seen in the award winning film Pop Meets the Void, directed by William Cusick. She is thrilled to be playing the role of Ophelia! www.lorrainemattox.com

Jim Kempner

as Polonius

Jim Kempner is a gallerist, actor, writer and director as well as the creator and star of the long running web series, The Madness of Art; currently in it's 5th season. Previous NYC theatre credits include "Serge" in Art, "Charley" and "Howard" in Death of a Salesman, "Mark Rothko" in Red and most recently as "Dr. Harold Nemur" in Flowers for Algernon. Jim has also appeared in the Steven Soderbergh film The Girlfriend Experience and in 2012 he was asked to do a TEDx Talk which can be seen on YouTube.

Brian Patrick Murphy

as Laertes

Brian Patrick Murphy has been involved in both Theatre and Film/TV productions. Theatre: The Clearing (dir. Josh Hecht), BREAK (dir. Tracy Middendorf), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (dir. Hamilton Clancy) Burn This, Italian American Reconciliation, Savage in Limbo.

Film/TV: VINYL (HBO-dir. Martin Scorsese), The Mysteries of Laura, Law and Order: SVU, Back in the Day, Occupy Texas. He is also a former Golden Gloves Boxer.

Greg Pragel

as Horatio

Greg Pragel is a trained actor, singer and fight choreographer based in New York City. In April, he will graduate from the 3-year conservatory program at The Stella Adler Studio. His dedication, professionalism, and humor has been experienced on national tours, regional stages, and many NYC productions including Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick), Greater Tuna (Arles/ Didi/ Petey), and Fiddler on the Roof (Motel).

Most recently Greg performed Berowne in Love's Labours Lost for Hamlet Isn't Dead, originated the role of Dante Rossetti in The Muse directed by Jay Michaels at Theater for the New City, and had the opportunity to be directed by Patrick Vassel in The Homecoming.

Greg is a proud native of Buffalo, NY and graduated from Niagara University. He is an avid comic book reader and Spider-Man fanatic. He is extremely excited to play Horatio, and thanks all the talented artists that are helping create this production.

Milton Elliott

as The Ghost

Milton Elliott is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He was last seen in a production of Red Noses at The Secret Theater in which he played the role of Brodin. Milton has performed in the play Black Eagles at both the Manhattan Theater Club and at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. He was also on the first national tour of Biloxi Blues with a then unknown Amy Ryan.

Milton has done regional commercials and has been in two independent films; Cathy Coppola and In Case of Emergancy both directed by Stefanie Sparks. Milton is proud to be a part of this production of Hamlet.

Ali Stover

as Rosencrantz

Ali is thrilled to be a part of this production, to have this wonderful opportunity to play Rosencrantz, and to work amongst a group of such talented artists! Thus far, she has had the good fortune of landing roles that showcase her versatility as an actor. From a large co-starring role on Law &Order:CI as a playboy bunny (opposite Peter Bogdanovich), to a sweet but no nonsense teacher on “Louie” (FX), to Emilia in Shakespeare's Othello (Untermyer Park, NY), and the dramatic Catherine in Proof (WCT), Ali has enjoyed playing a wide range of characters.

She recently won a best actress/most innovative acting award at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival for her work in a leading role in “My Little Demon,” Prior to filming “My Little Demon” she played an emotionally demanding lead role as a preacher's wife in the feature film And See All The People. Other credits include the film Overnight Shift (brought to Cannes Short Film Corner 2009), Emma Frost in the webseries “Deadpool,” a tough as nails FBI agent in the short Infiltrate, a Joan of Arc obsessed pyromaniac in the feature Bastard of Orleans, and Francis in Girls in Their Summer Dresses (Theatre For The New City). She’s looking forward to shooting the features “Hollywood: Land of Hope and Lies” and “The Wicked Path,” this coming year.

A New Yorker at heart, Ali’s personal interests include a love of wildlife, and travelling as much as possible! She would like to thank her friends and family for their love and continued support.

Vanessa Altshuler

As Guildenstern

Vanessa received a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Oklahoma.

NYC credits include; Regan (King Lear), Sissy Hickey (Sordid Lives), Theatre East’s The Jungle Book (Multiple Characters/Puppeteer; Off B’Way), Soul Searching: A Rock Musical (Becky/Rachel; Off B’way), Gypsy Rose Lee (Mama Rose’s Turn), Betty Boop (Vagabond Lover), and Becky/Bic (420: The Musical; Off B’way).

Film/TV: Wedgerino, The Fun Park, Sam and Janet, Things I Don’t Understand, Recall, and the web series Leaky Thoughts and Stills.

Vanessa is a proud Company Member and Manager of Individual Giving at Theatre East. www.vanessaaltshuler.com


Jay Michaels (Director)

Mr. Michaels is a theatrical producer/director, promotional executive, educator, and entrepreneur whose career in the entertainment industry began in the late 1970s. His love affair with Shakespeare (Hamlet in particular) began in Raymond Gasper’s acclaimed 1982 production at the Lion Theater where he played Rosencrantz. Since then, his career has been peppered with unique productions of classical theater and opera. On stage, he appeared as Julius Caesar, Shylock, Friar Lawrence, Volpone, Scrooge, Lawrence in the operatic version of Moliere’s Tartuffe, and the title role of Dr. Faustus. He appeared in numerous productions of Hamlet (as Claudius, Polonius, Gravedigger, Ghost King, Rosencrantz AND Guildenstern) before directing it in 1999.

He directed David Canary as Claudius in 2001; and two more productions (2005, 2011) were under his belt before he lensed a short film version of The Nunnery Scene entitled Slings & Arrows (gaining international distribution).

The film followed the mission of Genesis Repertory, the classical theater company he founded with Mary Elizabeth Micari, placing Shakespearean plays in new settings while maintaining the original text. Genesis productions included Merchant of Venice (set in Nazi Germany), Macbeth (in Peronista Argentina), a “Sopranos” Julius Caesar, a sitcom Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream set in Central Park, midnight 12/31/99 and Romeo & Juliet in Jerusalem (Jewish Romeo/Palestinian Juliet). Genesis also produced Ariadne Auf Naxos, Suor Angelica, Medea, Lysistrata, and Il Tabarro.

Mr. Michaels was also a guest director at Fordham University, where he directed The Taming of the Shrew;

Yeshiva University for a production of A Yorkshire Tragedy (before bringing it to LaMama); and Kingsborough (where he is on faculty) for a production of The Tempest. Mr. Michaels’ concurrent career is that of a promotional executive and producer through his firm, Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment. Mr. Michaels dedicates this production to his partner in life and crime, Mary Elizabeth Micari, and to the late Raymond Gasper for having faith in a naive musical comedy guy.

Maryam Penelope Sweirki

Maryam Penelope Sweirki is a Lighting Designer from Miami who settled in New York to take on her love for Musical Theatre and Theatrical Design in the Big Apple. Mary is a Lighting Assistant to Michael O'Connor, as well as in house designer and technician for Queens Theatre in the Park and (le) Poisson Rogue.

Her past work includes Three Sisters: Tulsa 1921 (The Secret Theater) Grace Weber (Webster Hall) Milk Milk Lemonade (The Pit Loft) From Africa to Broadway (Queens Theatre in the Park) Mary resides in Brooklyn with her fluffy pup named Monster.

Michael Loupos

Michael Loupos (graphic designer) is a visual artist from Ocean County, NJ who currently resides in Philadelphia, PA. His work focuses in the print design realm with a focus on logo and brand development. Currently employed by the social conscious Standard Apparel, his days are filled with conceptualizing fresh approaches to longstanding industries and locations.

When AFK, you can find him Instagramming his real-time food consumption (@cheatdaydiaries) or traveling the nooks and crannies of the Continental US. You can reach him on all major social media platform @mikeydoesit or by email michael.loupos@gmail.com. Work samples can be found visiting www.mikeydoesit.co or www.dribble.com/mikeydoesit

Chris Loupos

Chris Loupos (photography/video) is a commercial and editorial photographer from Toms River, NJ and currently residing in Philadelphia, PA. He works mainly out of New York City as well as the rest of the Tri-State Area and is available to travel anywhere. He has done various levels of work for Wired, Geico, Adweek, Jose Cuervo, Nike, Coordinated Health, Johnny Walker, Don Julio Tequila, Diageo, HGTV, Amazon among others and is a contributing photographer for the Fresh Air Fund.

Chris is an avid sports fan, likes dogs more than people and never met a thrift shop he didn’t like. You can see his work at www.chrisloupos.com or reach him via email at chris@chrisloupos.com

Shane Vannest

Shane Vannest (sculptor) is a special FX designer based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. A graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Shane worked for several years out of Spector Studios in the Steel City where he was responsible for every stage of the creation process; from sketching the drawing to painting the completed cast. Shane takes special interest in making sculptures of the "strange." Last summer he made a true to life cast of "The Elephant Man" Joseph Merrick which was used in a New York City production of The Exhibition, a play about Merrick. He is available to make custom sculptures as well as one of a kind light and sound machines.

He is currently the founder and head designer at OM-BOT Psychic Cell in Las Vegas. Follow his work on instagram @shanestrangecraft and etsy: ShaneStrangeCraft. He can be reached at shanevannest@yahoo.com.

Mario Claudio

Mario Claudio has been singing and acting ever since he was a young man. Previous NYC credits as a youth include Peter Pan, Grease and Fiddler on the Roof. In 1999 Mario took a break from acting to join the US NAVY. After his service, Mario was called back into acting with The Encore Players. While with the troupe he performed in 42nd street, The WIZ, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Boyfriend and Pirates of Penzance. At Schenectady County Community College for Music and Theatre performance, Mario performed in various stage productions including "In Conflict" for which he received a nomination. Other NYC credits include Nobody Dies Tonight, Showtune, Voices, and the upcoming Generations. Mario was also a house manager for Conversations with my Molester: A journey through Faith.

Marco Antonio Naranjo

Marco Antonio Naranjo (Assistant Stage Manager) is a graduate from Pace University. Past theater experience includes Richard III: A Dishonourable Tale (SM), Red Noses (ASM), Draw the Circle (SM), The Importance of Being Earnest (ASM), and A View From the Bridge (ASM).

Marco would like to thank Milton Elliott for nominating him for this amazing project. He would also like to thank Jay Michaels and Matt de Rogatis for allowing him to share in their collaborative vision. Much love and thanks to the family for their constant support.

Maya Luz

Maya Luz Molina-Araujo (Fashion Consultant) was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew up between the east coast, southwest Florida and New York City. A multicultural background and encouragement to be expressive at an early age, has enabled Maya to cultivate a vast body of art and design work, including photography, drawing, writing and fashion design. Interpreting themes of nature, sexuality, angst, love, style and culture, Maya’s work highlights the glitter of the grit and the grit of the glitter. For more information visit www.maya-luz.com

Eileen Kennedy

For the past 30 years, Eileen Kennedy (Fine Art Painter) has done work that focused on contemporary narratives using historical techniques. Until the early 2000s she created life scale oil paintings and drawings that explored contemporary domestic life. In 2010, she began to work in egg tempera to exploit its linear nature and ability to render detail. She has embraced this medium and its historical companion, silverpoint, as a drawing medium. These antique media were most prevalent in the early Renaissance and befit her current works inspired by dreams and memories of simpler times.

Kennedy holds a BFA in painting from Pratt Institute and completed additional studies at the Art Students League of New York and the Hartford Art School. In recent years, she has studied egg tempera technique with New Hampshire artist, Koo Schadler.

She has exhibited widely in galleries, museums, and alternative spaces throughout the mid-Atlantic region including the Painted Bride Art Center and Widener University Art Museum in Philadelphia; MMC, A.I.R. and Blue Mountain Galleries and the Brooklyn Museum in NYC; and Princeton Theological Seminary, Williams Center for the Arts, Monmouth University, Cooper Gallery and the Noyes Museum of Art in New Jersey. She is a past recipient of an Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and is currently a Signature Artist at the Noyes Museum of Art. The artist lives and works in Red Bank, New Jersey. Learn more at www.eileen-kennedy.com.

Michael Hagins

Michael Hagins (fight choreographer) is the artistic director of C.A.G.E. Theatre Company. He has choreographed, acted, directed and produced nearly every Shakespearian play in the canon, and looks forward to many more. Feel free to look up his work at www.cagetheatreco.vpweb.com. Thank you for reading this and supporting the arts!

Christina Helmer

Hat designer Christina Helmer founded Christina’s Millinery Lab in New York City’s East Village in 2012 to live out her passion of creating hats and, more recently, fascinators for women. With an education and background in Performing Arts, she designs and handcrafts one-of-a-kind pieces, all with a unique character of their own. Each hat is created with a love for vintage fashion, while at the same time remaining charmingly contemporary and unusual.

Christina is excited to dive into the marvelous world of steampunk for this production of Hamlet.


Nine Theatricals

NINE Theatricals, a non profit, 501c(3) professional theatre company was co-founded in July 2007 by RJ Lamb. The company's goals are not only to entertain people but also to challenge them with new plays and to showcase new playwrights. Our approach to theatre is often an innovative one. We try to create for our audiences a unique stage experience. One that will get them to think about what they have just seen. The productions often include talkbacks.

Past productions throughout central New Jersey include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Side Show (a wonderful musical experience), The Outrageous Adventures of Sheldon and Mrs. Levine, Cemetery Club, Just Imagine, The Boardwalk Plays (A series of vignettes taking place on New Jersey's iconic boardwalks). This piece was performed throughout one whole summer at the famous Jersey Shore. Other shows include Just Plain Funny, The Trial of Lizzie Borden (an original piece). Lizzie Borden was toured during the fall of 2011 for a total of 15 performances. For the past seven years the company has toured during the holiday season with radio plays. These have included It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Carol.

Next fall NINE will produce it's first historical drama based on actual events in Trenton, New Jersey during the Winter of 1776. The Trial of Abraham Hunt: An American Christmas Story, tells the story of a man who may or may not have been America's first traitor. The production will also be part of Patriots Week in Trenton beginning the day after Christmas 2016.

Shows staged in New York City have included Tape, The Owl Club, Laundry and Bourbon, Lone Star, The Exhibition and Flowers for Algernon. NINE's unusual vision for the stage will again be showcased this July with our one of a kind Hamlet to be performed twelve times at the 13th Street Repertory Theatre in New York City. The production will feature a character called "The Storyteller" who will guide the audience through the labyrinth of scenes and themes that is Shakespeare's masterpiece. It will be a theatre event, not to be missed!

About the Production

The play Hamlet is quite possibly the most widely known of William Shakespeare – more films, more adaptations, more versions and more references than any other Shakespearean work. But did you know Shakespeare’s play itself was a version of an older story? The killing of one’s brother for personal gain is one of the earliest Biblical stories. The use of vengeance for such a deed is also biblical. What might not be known is that the idea of feigning madness to seek out the killer is also an ancient theme.

Works that served as fodder and foundation for Shakespeare’s most enigmatic story have roots as far back as pre-13th century Icelandic tales. The story of Amleth or Amlóði (Norse for "mad", "not sane") was written in the 12th century by Saxo Grammaticus in the Gesta Danorum. The Icelandic Saga of Hrolf Kraki and the Roman Lucius Junius Brutus, both center on heroes who play the fool in order to get revenge.

Even in Shakespeare’s own timeframe there are two other pre-Hamlet works. A lost play entitled Ur-Hamlet remains in conjecture and synopsis as well as Thomas Kyd’s A Spanish Tragedy (in which the father feigns madness to revenge for his son) play the same tale as Shakespeare – some cases down to the Dumb Show story have changed. Unlike earlier versions, Shakespeare's Hamlet does not feature an omniscient narrator of events and Prince Hamlet does not appear to have a complete plan of action. The play's setting in Elsinore also differs from legendary versions.

Matt de Rogatis and Jay Michaels have compiled elements of these other versions including the concept of a narrator sharing details as if the tale was far too old to be truly depicted without one – within their own version opening this summer at 13th Street Repertory in New York City.

Hamlet: An Exploration does exactly that. It tells the story of Hamlet but it also manages to tell the story of Hroðulf from the late 5th century and the 6th century; Amlóði from the 12th century; Ur-Hamlet and Heronimo (from his contemporary, Thomas Kyd).

It has become a tradition that the play is now done with modern dress more often than classical. This production takes that a step forward and backward. Costumes are a mixture of all eras creating an unplanned “steampunk” look. It creates a fascinating cacophony of theories - from the idea of the man and the warrior; to addiction and self-abuse; to love and lust and how bisexuality, BDSM and marriage of convenience have endured regardless of social mores and religious beliefs.

When the smoke clears, this is a Hamlet not yet done using elements of the Hamlets, frankly, never or rarely done. Hamlet has appeared on stage and film (in all languages) in doublet in tights, in love with his mother, as a corporate raider, and a sad son, as a warrior, as a man who can’t make up his mind, as an afflicted child, as a man obsessed with death, and so much more.

This production explores all of these … from the mind not of Hamlet but from the mind of the parable.

Matt de Rogatis plays all Hamlets.

...Professor Jay Michaels, production director.

The Storyteller

A new addition to the text, this Teller of Tales is a character that is shrouded in mystery. We are not sure where he came from or the true intentions he may hold. The only thing that is certain is that they are filled tales intrigue, murder and lust.

His purpose is to guide the audience through the plots and subplots of Hamlet’s mind. Is the Storyteller telling us the truth? Is it all a figment of his imagination? An imagination that has been touched by evil?

You will need to watch him carefully. He will be a tour guide through this mental journey. But remember, even tour guides make mistakes. And they may take us to places we would dare never venture on our own…

Latest News

We are gonna party like it's 1599!
Hamlet: The Launch Party
Featuring major media outlets, special guest speakers, food, drink, music and more. RSVP only!

Thank you Pete Hempstead of TheaterMania.com
for the feature, click here for details!

Thank you Broadway World for the feature,
click here for details!

Thank you Sarah Macdonnell of the Times Square Chronicle for Launch Party coverage. Read the article here.

Thank you Ron Mwangaghunga of The Huffington Post for Launch Party coverage. To read the article, click here.

Thank you Broadwayworld.com for Launch Party coverage. To read the article, click here.