The nine-member cast of Temple Theatre’s production of Hamlet convened for first read-through last night with our director (Rick St. Peter) and SM (Judy Long) in attendance at the black box space adjacent to Temple’s auditorium. A brief pep talk by Producing Artistic Director Peggy Taphorn followed and my first impression of us is that we’re a compatible and talented bunch of folks. The set being designed and built in place by Cyburbia Productions of Fairfax, VA is a time-non-specific “retro modern” creation that will feature both still and video projections. A silent movie, subtitles and all, will serve as the play wherein Hamlet catches the conscience of the king. Word has it that this show will be the costliest of Temple’s 25th anniversary season.
The James House actors’ quarters is as I remember it, a rambling but cozy two-story example of the “catalog homes” sold by Sears between 1908 and 1940. My second-floor room, the same one I had when I did Fantasticks here almost two years ago, is probably the most private in the building and the wi-fi signal coming from downstairs is strong. So far, so good. We’ll have a capacity crowd by week’s end, though, when the current show’s cast returns from break for the last leg of their run, so that may prove to be a test of grace under fire, Fortunately, I rise and retire so early that I’m almost a third shift unto myself.
Sanford is a sleepy place. There’s little for an urban boy to do here but hang out at the local coffee shop, study lines and read. But since that’s pretty much all I do no matter where I am, there’s no culture shock to speak of. Of course, I’ll miss familair faces and places, but they’re only four hours away and will welcome me when I return. There’s great comfort in that.