Local actor mocks Hamlet

By Lynn Porter

Around the Island

``Hamlet'' funny?

That's the idea behind ``The Elsinore Diaries,'' a mocumentary look at William Shakespeare's tragedy.

Mercer Island resident Kevin Hyatt plays three roles in this restaging of the Seattle Fringe Theater Festival production, which points out plot holes in ``Hamlet'' and ``wittily'' interviews characters.

Hyatt is a philosophical grave digger, a prying psychoanalyst and a pirate.

``It's a great experience,'' said Hyatt, who is featured in the play. ``It's very Monty Python-esque, really a very witty send-up of the whole Hamlet story.''

The play, written by Seattleites Frank Lawler, Daniel Flint and Jason Marr, involves a ``re-imagining'' of characters' lives, said Hyatt, who graduated from Ithaca College in New York with a bachelor of fine arts degree.

``The only reason Hamlet is a tragedy is you only see it from Hamlet's point of view,'' he said.

In the real Hamlet, the grave digger is comic relief. In this production, he is a straightforward man of the people, Hyatt said.

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Hamlet's old friends who secretly plot against him. In this version, they are psychology students who have come to see why Hamlet is so upset.

The new play has bunches of scenes and ``costume changes galore,'' said Hyatt, 30, who has lived on the Island for four years.

``We're in, we're out, we're everything,'' he said.

The production runs Aug. 18-28 at the Center House Theatre at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle.

General admission tickets are $14. Tickets for students and seniors are $12.

Tickets can be purchased by calling (800) 838-3006 or online at

For more information, go to, or call 568-7372.

New plays

The Mercer Island Players' new season features three prize-winning plays.

In November, the non-profit, six-year-old theater company will begin its season with ``Ravenscroft,'' an award-winning mystery/comedy by Don Nigro.

The second play offered will be Frank D. Gilroy's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama ``The Subject Was Roses.''

In March, the company will put on the ``rolling, pitching, yawing'' farce ``Rough Crossings'' by Tom Stoppard. It has played across the country to standing-room-only audiences, said Bill Phillips, a Players' board member and the company's publicist.

At least one of the new season's plays will be directed by Island resident Irving Zimmer, who is well-known in local theater, said Phillips

All performances will be at the Studio Stage at Youth Theater Northwest. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and general admission is $10.

For more information, call 236-0823, e-mail, or go to the Web site

Have items for Around the Island, please call Lynn Porter at 232-1215 or e-mail her at lynn.porter at

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