The Shakespeare Online Against Abuse benefit effort began with the production of Othello Falling in 2011,
embodying the concept that together a group of dedicated creative people could take some of the most powerful
tales ever told and present them in a way that could illustrate and illuminate the ways that abuse happens in our
society. At the same time, by sponsoring
Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA), an organization that  offers safe
havens for women and children working to free themselves from abusive environments, we could spread awareness
that there are options for those who are in that tragic and terrible situation. There are people who care, people who
will listen, people who will help.

In
Othello Falling, the gifted Jaeda DeWalt joined me in presenting the tragedy of the Moor of Venice, adapted into
a series of poetic recitations. Her Desdemona brought life to the character as never before, and allowed me as a
writer to delve deep into places of her psyche and emotions. With that same hope and spirit, we now approach what
is almost universally considered Shakespeare's finest play. As the great critic Harold Bloom writes, in his book with
the same title as this production,
"Of all poems, it (Hamlet) is the most unlimited. As a meditation upon human
fragility in confrontation with death, it competes only with the world's scriptures
."

I have always thought Hamlet to be the most remarkable of plays, and yes, the poetry in it speaks with great power
to me. Through it run themes all too common in lives that grapple with the force and wreckage of abuse: families
torn apart by cruelty, confusion, and what may or may not be madness.

The original play has, of course, a myriad of characters. For this presentation, all of its scenes will be centered in
four of those characters: Hamlet, and the three people who in the play truly love the Prince of Denmark: his lover
Ophelia, his mother Gertrude, and his loyal and caring friend, the scholar Horatio. Joining me in portraying these
characters are three of my own dearest friends, accomplished creators in their own fields of writing and art: Di Niven
as Ophelia, Kristaline Shanon as Gertrude, and David Cuccia as Horatio.

Visual decoration for this production comes in the form of John Austen's brilliant Hamlet drawings for a 1922 volume
of the play.






























Thank you for joining us. The struggle to combat abuse in our society will, alas, be one that never ends. But as
artists, and simply as caring people, we have the power to take this issue out of the shadows, and provide both
catharsis and practical support to those who yearn to live their lives without fear, cruelty and pain.
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- The Players -
- Production Diary -
- Introduction -
-
One (Horatio): "I have never yearned to see things fantastic or tragic, wild or terrible..." -
-
Two (Gertrude): "Claudius smiles, all joy, like a man in triumph, and I dare to hope..." -
-
Three (Ophelia): "What is in Hamlet’s mind tonight, I wonder? I should know. By now, I should know..." -
-
Four (Hamlet): "Bright colors move before my eyes; they breathe, they laugh..."-
-
Five (Horatio): "The chill of winter midnight found lodging in my bones..." -
-
Six (Gertrude): "It stings to see my son avert his eyes from me..." -
-
Seven (Ophelia): "Look at him. How he stands before his mother and new father..." -
-
Eight (Hamlet): "And so all go to their beds, to exchange public tongues for private ones..." -
-
Nine (Horatio): "The air bites shrewdly; cold in the lungs and chilling even the heart..." -
-
Ten (Hamlet): "Though my friends would hold me back, I push them away and give myself to the dark..." -
-
Eleven (Gertrude): "I lay awake as the night stretched on and on..." -
-
Twelve (Hamlet): "As I kneel there upon the stones of the platform wall, I hear voices..." -
-
Thirteen (Ophelia): "Some great change has happened;I feel it even now..." -
-
Fourteen (Hamlet): "Where is my resolve and faith..." -
- Fifteen (Horatio): "Sleep has been a stranger since the night on the walls..." -
-
Sixteen (Ophelia): "Desperation, I fear, has made me a fool..." -
-
Seventeen (Gertrude): "The day began well, it seemed..." -
- Eighteen (Hamlet): "There is a scurry as of rats approaching..." -
-
Nineteen (Horatio): "The arrival of our fellow students of Wittenberg, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern..." -
-
Twenty (Gertrude): "Polonius comes to Claudius and me, all a-bustle..." -
-
Twenty-One (Ophelia): "Dear God I like this not..." -
-
Twenty-Two (Gertrude): "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, having spoken with my son..." -
-
Twenty-Three (Hamlet): "To be or not to be, that is the question...." -
-
Twenty-Four (Ophelia): "He comes, and my heart pounds straightaway, as if it would burst..." -
-
Twenty-Five (Horatio): “What ho! Horatio!” I hear Prince Hamlet’s call..." -
-
Twenty-Six (Gertrude): "Oh, this is sadness..." -
-
Twenty-Seven (Ophelia): "Tonight, I wonder who has betrayed whom?" -
-
Twenty-Eight (Hamlet): "Ophelia’s eyes flash fire at me..." -
-
Twenty-Nine (Horatio): "All about me is agitation!"-
-
Thirty (Gertrude): "I follow Claudius as he flees the play..." -
-
Thirty-One (Horatio): "I feel as a general must when he stands before his lord..." -
-
Thirty-Two (Ophelia): "Well, and what indeed was that?"-
-
Thirty-Three (Hamlet): "It’s now the very witching time of night..." -
-
Thirty-Four (Horatio): "I confess I am lost..." -
-
Thirty-Five (Ophelia): "There will be no sleep for me tonight..." -
-
Thirty-Six (Gertrude): "As I sit on the edge of my bed..." -
-
Thirty-Seven (Hamlet): "Mother, these tears in your eyes make me sad beyond words..." -
-
Thirty-Eight (Gertrude): "Dear God, the poor old man..." -
-
Thirty-Nine (Hamlet): "My father's ghost returns..." -
-
Forty (Gertrude): "I have not been able to move..." -
-
Forty-One (Ophelia): "There comes a knock at my door. Is no one asleep tonight?" -
-
Forty-Two (Hamlet): "Too many thoughts are in my head now, and no thoughts..." -
-
Forty-Three (Horatio): "Elsinore is all astir..." -
-
Forty-Four (Hamlet): "Claudius now speaks to me..." -
-
Forty-Five (Gertrude): "With Hamlet gone to England..." -
-
Forty-Six (Horatio): "I step quickly to follow Ophelia..." -
-
Forty-Seven (Ophelia): "Of all wonders, I see my brother!" -
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Click
HERE to view a listing of Domestic Violence Resources
Click
HERE to visit the purchase page for the OTHELLO FALLING Benefit Book. All proceeds from sales will
be donated to Community Action Stops Abuse.

Click
HERE to visit David Cuccia's Website
Click
HERE to visit Di Niven's Website
Click
HERE to visit Kristaline Shanon's Website


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"The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral,
pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical,
tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited."

                                                      -  Hamlet, Act III
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