Classical Conflict: Shakespeare in the OC

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A modern ‘Hamlet’ runs through Sunday at Chapman University.

As Horatio (David Flack) broods behind, Hamlet (Josh Bross) confides in Ophelia (Alpha Takahashi), in a new theater project at the OC-centric play festival, running through Sunday at Chapman University. (Photo by Kazuya Kimura)

As Horatio (David Flack) broods behind, Hamlet (Josh Bross) confides in Ophelia (Alpha Takahashi), in a new theater project at the OC-centric play festival, running through Sunday at Chapman University. (Photo by Kazuya Kimura)

“This is a role I’ve always desired,” admitted Josh Bross, as he reclined at The Rafu’s offices on Wednesday. “Really, I think this is something all actors wish for.”

Bross and co-star Alpha Takahashi stopped by to discuss their roles in “HamlEt,” a modern treatment of William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy.

As part of the OC-centric play festival, the one-act production runs through Sunday at the Moulton Hall Studio Theatre on the campus of Chapman University.

Adapted and directed by Tamiko Washington, the taut, 30-minute “HamlEt” places the central character at the center of conflict in a tumultuous Denmark.

Takahashi said she is thrilled to play would-be love interest Ophelia, a role she said has been a lifelong dream come true.

“Really, I’ve wanted to play this part for a decade,” she said, adding that one of the strengths of the production is the multicultural casting.

“The fact that I’m Japanese had no influence on the colorblind casting. I think it brings new life to the story, and being Japanese mostly only mattered to me.”

Takahashi added that the chemistry between herself and Bross in the initial casting process was perfect for the characters they portray.

“I knew right away he was going to be Hamlet,” she said.

“HamlEt” will have performances this Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., as part of a showcase with three other one-act plays.

The Moulton Hall Studio Theatre at Chapman University is located at 300 E. Palm Ave. in the city of Orange. Tickets  are $20 general, $12 for Chapman students, staff and faculty. For reservations and information, call (714) 902-5716, or visit www.oc-centric.com.

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