Shakespeare’s Hamlet Will Rock Hollister This Weekend

“To Be Or Not To Be” at Hollister’s Chad A Fuqua Park this weekend.  “That Is The Question!”

Forte Theatre Productions LLC, in cooperation with the Branson Regional Arts Council and the City of Hollister, present, Shakespeare’s Hamlet. 

This unforgettable Shakespeare in the Park event tells the story of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, who finds out that is father was secretly murdered and plots to avenge his father’s death.  It is the most quoted piece of Shakespeare’s collection of plays and has impacted popular story lines such as The Lion King.

Under the direction of Justin Ables, Hamlet is set in the 1990s and uses an original rock underscore written by local musician, Chris Skillern.  Skillern also portrays King Claudius in Hamlet where he plays live rock guitar as his character.  Josh Boulden, who plays Hamlet, paints temporary murals in selected scenes to help progress the story line.  “Shakespearean grunge meets visual art destruction” says Skillern, “You have never seen Shakespeare rock like this.”

Along with original music and performance art, Hamlet incorporates dancing in this production. “The choreography is dark, mellow and edgy. Definitely in line with the twisted story,’ says choreographer, Cori Briggs, “I tried to play up the turmoil, anger and confusion in the movement.”

This is the 3rd annual Shakespeare in the Park at Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park located in Hollister Missouri.  As a city park improvement, Hollister has newly installed lighting and audio system in the park’s performance pavilion. Hamlet will be the first to fully utilize the new equipment.

Additional production members include Jonathan Crum (Costume Designer), Ian Lahlum (Set Designer), Brian Huff (Fight Choreographer), and Tina Cool-Anderson (Producer) .

Photo: Matthew Noll Photography – Josh Boulden (Hamlet) and Charis Boulden (Ophelia)

Cast members include: Josh Boulden (Hamlet), Charis Boulden (Ophelia), Chris Skillern (Claudius), Jonna Volz (Gertrude), John Paul-Fox (Horatio), Ian Lahlum (Polonius), Conor Finnerty (Laertes),  Alex Shriver, Ashley Litke, Austin Delp, Brandon Farrar, Lindsey Lee, Lizzy Hinton, Michael Sager, and Bucky Buckner.

Tickets prices are $16.95 (Adults 18+) and $11.45 (under 18).

Advance tickets are highly recommended and available online at or by calling the Branson Regional Arts Council at 417-336-4255.


Show times are 8pm on  Sunday July 28th and Monday July 29th, and Sunday August 4th and Monday August 5th.  The gate open at 7pm.

This is a “bring your own chair or blanket” event. Seating is not provided. Enjoy an original version of one of the world’s most popular plays, under the stars in beautiful Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park, 312 Esplanade Dr., Hollister Missouri.  In case of a rainout, the show will move to the Historic Owen Theatre, 205 S Commercial St. in downtown Branson.

The Branson Regional Arts Council Youth Education Department is excited to offer a FOUR WEEK SUMMER DANCE FUNDAMENTALS CLASS for kids ages 8-18!

Join us every Friday from July 26th-August 16th for a fun filled, non-intimidating dance class. Through this four week course, Beginner-Intermediate Dancers will learn and explore the details to dance basics and the technique behind it all.

  • WHEN: Fridays, July 26th thru August 16th
  • TIME: 6pm – 7:30pm
  • WHERE: Historic Owen Theatre

Registration Fee includes all 4 weekly sessions:

1.5 HOUR CLASSES  $55 (non member), $50 (BRAC Family Members)



For any questions, or to register by cash or check, please call BRAC at 417-336-4255.

Meet the Instructor: Kristen Dasto
A six year Rockette Summer Intensive alumni, originally from Southaven, Mississippi, Kristen began dancing at the young age of two years old and hasn’t stopped! She moved to New York in October of 2015 to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) where she trained with industry professionals in dance, voice, and acting. After her first year, Kristen transferred to begin her training at Broadway Dance Center (BDC) in their Training Program where she graduated with a Certificate of Completion in April, 2017.
Shortly after graduating from BDC, Kristen received her a certification in Classical Pilates through PowerPilates. When she is not performing, she continues her own training in dance, voice, and acting as she knows always more to learn and room to grow in the arts industry. Kristen loves helping others learn the essentials that she has learned and watching them grow to become the best they can possibly be.

BRAC Executive Director Jim Barber (center), welcomes Roger and Karen Bergford to the Historic Owen Theatre in Branson.

The Branson Regional Arts Council is proud to announce that Roger and Karen Bergford have begun accepting new vocal students as part of BRAC’s Conservatory of the Arts program at the Historic Owen Theatre. Offering both private and group vocal lessons, the Bergfords provide an impressive history of professional training and performance experience to new and advanced vocal students in the Branson area.

BRAC Vocal Teachers Roger & Karen Bergford

The Bergfords are now scheduling voice lessons for students of all ages in various styles from classical to musical theater, pop, jazz, gospel, and country. Classes are available in 30 or 60 minutes sessions, and are typically private, or as a group of 3 students together. Interested parents or students should contact the Branson Regional Arts Council at 417-336-4255 or for more information of class scheduling and tuition rates.

Roger and Karen have over 30 years experience teaching both private and group vocal lessons. Roger earned his Bachelor of Music Education – Vocal Specialist from the University of Missouri in Kansas City, as well as graduate work in Vocal Performance from the University of Colorado – Boulder.  Karen graduated with high honors from the University of Colorado – Boulder to earn her Bachelor of Music Education. Together they co-authored an industry book titled, “Sound & Language, the Defining Elements of the Complete Singer” in 2007.

After retiring as public school music educators in Colorado, the Bergfords moved to Branson in 2008 and began teaching 26 frontline singers in the Hughes Brothers it show, which won the Branson Show Award for “Best Show of the Year” (2009-2012).  In addition to working with the Hughes family, the Bergfords have also taught singers from The Haygoods and Jim Stafford Show casts, a backup singer with Andy Williams, and Voices of Glory, the top 5 finalists of America’s Got Talent (2009) who worked with the Michael Jackson/Boyz II Men manager, Qadree El-Amin. In 2017, the Voices of Glory were named “Vocal Group of the Year,” receiving both the prestigious Terry Award and the Branson Show Award.  Eighteen-year-old Nadia was  named “Female Vocalist of the Year.” The Bergfords were even invited to host a master class on a Bahamas cruise alongside Michael Jackson’s voice teacher in 2012.

The Arts Council is excited to have the Bergfords join the BRAC Education faculty, and they are now accepting private vocal students from the Branson Tri-Lakes area who wish to train under their professional direction.

Faculty members of the BRAC Conservatory of the Arts include:

  • Lloyd Alexander Holt – Director of Vocal Studies
  • Kristen Dasto – Director of Dance Education
  • Jacob Estes – Director of Theatre Education
  • Roger & Karen Bergford – Vocal Instructors

All private and group classes are pre-scheduled and held at the Historic Owen Theatre in downtown Branson.

Students of any age who are interested in information regarding lessons in voice, dance or acting, are asked to contact the Branson Regional Arts Council at 417-336-4255 or

Click Here For High Resolution Promotional Photo of Roger and Karen Bergford with BRAC Executive Director Jim Barber