The show will launch CST's 20th anniversary season and will play the Courtyard Theater on Navy Pier, Sept. 2 through Nov. 18.
Barbara Robertson will be Hamlet's mother, Gertrude. Bruce A. Young will play Hamlet's villianous uncle Claudius. (Interestingly, Young will also play the Ghost of Hamlet's father, a role usually assigned to the actor playing the Player King.) Chicago theatre legend Mike Nussbaum will be Polonius.
Also in the cast are Andrew Ahrens as Laertes; Aaron H. Alpern, Ensemble; Bill Bannon, Ensemble; Lindsay Gould as Ophelia; James Harms as First Player; Timothy Edward Kane as Horatio; Braden Moran as Fortinbras/Barnardo; Roderick Peeples as Marcellus; Kevin Rich as Osric; Wendy Robie as Player Queen; Matt Schwader as Rosencrantz; and Ben Viccellio as Guildenstern.
The British Hands worked for 25 years at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), when Peter Hall served as artistic director. Hands joined Trevor Nunn as joint artistic director of the RSC in 1978 and served as its sole artistic director from 1986 to 1991. Currently, he is director and chief executive of the Welsh National Performing Arts Company, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, a position he has held since 1997.
Hands will also design the lighting for the production of Hamlet. Mark Bailey will design both set and costumes. Ben Carlson is a regular at Canada's Shaw Festival, where he has played many roles, including Adolphus in Shaw's Major Barbara, Jack Tanner in Man and Superman and Torvald Helmer in Ibsen's A Doll's House, for which he won a Dora Award.