Auburn CAPA grads stage Hamlet

Reality Theatre Productions, Rockford’s newest and youngest theater company (both its age and the age of its staff), will debut this weekend with four performances of Shakespeare’s Hamlet at Auburn High School. Show dates and times are 7:30 p.m., July 27-29, and 2 p.m., July 29.

Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door. For more information, contact Rosy Soltero at (815) 243-0484.

Born of an idea from this production’s director, Kevin Earlywine, in May of this year, Reality Theatre Productions is keeping alive the creative ambitions of several recent graduates of the Auburn High School Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) program.

Earlywine gathered together a few other CAPA graduates and proposed the idea of founding a theater company to produce the play Hamlet, a favorite of stage manager Soltero: “We loved the idea. Though Hamlet is very long and ambitious, it is a very artistic and beautiful play. “

The CAPA alumni went through the necessary channels to obtain permission to use the theater at Auburn High School and got started.

With announcements in local media, fliers and posters, the company held open auditions at the end of May. The final cast includes: Adam Garner as Hamlet; Dave Loken as Laertes; Joel Ramsey as Claudius; Jeremy Ramsey as the Ghost of Hamlet; Dan Warlop as Polonius; Erin Lenox as Queen Gertrude; Tracey Redding as Ophelia; Jack Ciaccio as Horation; Kahla Conley as Rosencrantz; and Ben Panther as Guildenstern.

The production’s co-producers are Earlywine, also the director, and Emily Dyrson, also the technical director, and Soltero is the stage manager.

Hamlet is Reality Theatre Productions’ first show, but not its last.

“We plan to keep it going as a summer theater company,” Soltero said in a recent phone interview. “We will all come back from college over the summers and continue to present plays.”

All members of the staff of Reality Theatre Productions are heading to college in the fall with chosen fields in the theater—some in tech and some in acting, maybe even a writer or two.

Soltero said the proceeds from this weekend’s performance will be split 50/50 between the continuation of Reality Theatre Productions and the Auburn High School CAPA program, which holds a cherished place in the hearts of these young adults.

Why Hamlet? Soltero explained: “We all love the play. Shakespeare is genius how he takes life and writes it so beautifully. Each character has its own emotion.”

Let’s celebrate this new theater company with our support!

from the July 25-31, 2007, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!