Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

July 14, 2005

Contact: Contact: Mike Emery
713.743.8186 (office)
713.415.6551 (pager)


It’s been said that opposites attract, and for 30 years, the Houston Shakespeare Festival (HSF) has proven this by drawing thousands to both the Bard’s comedies and tragedies.

This year’s festival is no exception, pairing the romantic farce “As You Like It” with the dark drama “Hamlet.”
“Shakespeare’s great gift is that he wrote on many levels of appeal,” said Sidney Berger, director of UH’s School of Theatre and HSF founder. “Audiences from different walks of life can enjoy all of his plays.”

Berger directed “As You Like It” and updated Shakespeare’s magical tale to the early 20th century.
Conversely, “Hamlet” is set in desolate medieval surroundings to enhance the depravity of its characters.

Carolyn Houston Boone, the play’s director and associate professor of theater, feels that this “Hamlet” effectively depicts the title character’s emotional quest for justice – and his family’s tainted morals.

“Something is indeed rotten in Denmark,” Boone said. “I wanted this version to show how lustful and immoral Hamlet’s family is as he embarks on a journey that leaves him torn and nearly mad.”

UH’s School of Theatre produces HSF, providing personnel, offices, rehearsal space and scene and costume shops. The festival is co-sponsored by the City of Houston.

Since its inception in 1975, HSF has entertained nearly a half million theatergoers with free performances in Hermann Park’s Miller Outdoor Theatre. All productions feature student performers and professional Equity actors.

Performances begin at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free, but tickets are required for covered seating and are available at the Miller box office between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and one hour prior to each performance. For more information, call the box office at 713-284-8352 or visit

WHAT: 2005 Houston Shakespeare Festival: “As You Like It” and “Hamlet”
WHEN: “As You Like It”: 8:30 p.m. July 30, August 3, 5, 11, 13
“Hamlet”: 8:30 p.m. July 29, August 4, 6, 10, 12
WHERE: Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park
WHO: The University of Houston’s School of Theatre

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at