Fun House Theater & Film, Plano, Texas
Joseph Cummings’ simple, powerful set design centers on two rectangular, raked, interconnecting platform elements that actors re-arrange for different effect, scene by scene, and is flanked by sharp-edged vertical flats in monochrome hue. Together they reinforce the production’s somber atmosphere and the play’s themes. Severe but dreamlike, the overall visual concept emphasizes the play’s underlying savagery and haunting mental anguish. Upstage, projected slides rotate slowly behind the action, never distracting in any way, featuring classic artwork depicting scenes from varied “Hamlets”: by Delacroix, Fuseli, Wills, Millais and Cabanel. Cummings’ set design with slide projection, in balance with the haunting music score and shadow-enriched mood lighting (Cheney Coles and Chris Rapp) is one of the most effective, fully integrated set concepts I’ve witnessed in the region. And on a tight budget. I would be remiss if I failed to salute the dedication of work and time expended by construction “crew” Ben Bryant and Jacob Harris.
It’s a defining moment, where set, lighting, costume, and both actors’ performances conspire to enliven the text in every horrifying, intended aspect.
Alexandra Bonifield - Critical Rant & Rave
Costumed simply in shades of creams, reds and black, with sleek modular scenery by professional designer Joseph Cummings (working on a $300 budget), this Hamlet surges with energy.
Elaine Liner - Dalla Observer