How do you imagine the Prince of Denmark? Perhaps as one of the famed portrayals by Laurence Olivier, Kenneth Branagh, Mel Gibson or Ethan Hawke — or simply as a weak-willed bore forever agonizing over "To be or not to be" and all that. Well, however you visualize the hero of Shakespeare's longest play, the Kunio company's production of "Hamlet" is sure to challenge any preconceptions

Kunio Sugihara is a fast-emerging theater practitioner who began directing while studying drama at Kyoto University of Art and Design (KUAD). In 2004, he founded Kunio, which soon made a name for itself with provocative adaptations of classic texts mixed with hip-hop, J-pop and other contemporary music and fashion.

Since then, Sugihara, 31, has also adapted Western classics for Kunio — notably an 8 ½-hour production of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" — as well as modernizing traditional kabuki plays for the Kinoshita-Kabuki company led by Yuichi Kinoshita, which specializes in new fringe productions in that genre.