Delaware Shakespeare Festival Kicks off with ‘Hamlet’

Catch performances on the lawn at Rockwood Park.

A prince returns home. His father has been murdered. His mother has been wed to his uncle. The ghosts of his past are restless. What follows: Love. Confusion. Betrayal. Self-doubt. Violence. Revenge. In July, Delaware Shakespeare Festival will present “Hamlet” on the grounds of Rockwood Park, outdoors and under the stars. “Hamlet” is directed by David Stradley, producing artistic director of Delaware Shakespeare Festival, who directed “The Winter’s Tale” in 2011 and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in 2012. It stars festival-favorite Griffin Stanton-Ameisen, who played Antigonus in “The Winter’s Tale,” Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Launce in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” last year. This season marks DSF’s 12th—its ninth at Rockwood Park—and follows the record-breaking 2013. “Hamlet” will run for 13 performances July 11-27. Performances scheduled Wednesday to Saturday begin at 7:30 p.m., with gates opening at 6:15 p.m. for pre-show entertainment and picnicking. Sunday performances begin at 6 p.m. (Gates open at 4:45 p.m.) No shows are scheduled for Monday or Tuesday nights, though July 22 is scheduled as a rain date, if needed. DSF offers several new ticket options this year: The Festival Pass provides entrance to an unlimited number of performances during the run of “Hamlet” for $38. Though the pass is non-transferrable, friends attending with a festival pass holder will receive a $2 discount on tickets. A limited number of DSF lawn chairs will be available by reservation at each performance. Chairs will be set up in premium locations in the first row of the “high-backed chairs” section, behind blanket and low-backed chairs seating. Reservations can be made on the DSF website for $35 a ticket. On July 19, the second annual Janssen’s Market Picnic Contest will take place before the performance. Delebrity judges will roam the grounds before the performance to grade participating picnickers on the presentation, tastiness, and Shakespearean spirit of their spread. One winner will claim the coveted Janssen’s Market Picnic Contest trophy and eternal glory (until next year). General admission is $17, with special pricing for seniors, military personnel and others. So pack your lawn chairs. To purchase tickets, go to or simply purchase at the door.


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