|Theatre Without Boundaries!|
SOMETHING IS ROTTEN...
On May 13, 2010 we opened our first mainstage Shakespeare play since losing the Pelican Studio Theatre in January 2006. NPTC's track record with the Bard has been a good one, winning us critical acclaim for innovative stagings of Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Othello and Julius Caesar, as well as an OOBR Award for our Burlesque production of The Taming of the Shrew. Our production of Hamlet continues in this tradition, offering a singular NPTC vision for this play that incorporates historical, scholarly and theatrical research in a highly physical production.
This is not your grandfather's Hamlet!
Considered by some to be one of the "problem" plays, theatre practitioners, literary critics and average folks have debated the true meaning of this play for centuries. Is Hamlet actually a tragic hero? Is his lunacy feigned, or is there some deep misogyny lurking in his antics? Is it bi-polar disorder? An Oedipal Complex?
Photo: Hamlet (Bernardo Cubria) confronts Gertrude (C. Amanda Maud)
NPTC has looked at some fascinating but relatively obscure scholarship tying the structure of the script to The Book of Revelation! Author Linda Kay Hoff makes a compelling case, identifying the parallel elements in the play and the Bible, and puts forth a convincing argument as to Hamlet's viewpoint from a 16th Century perspective and the almost century-long religious wars that took place after Henry VIII's establishment of the Church of England. The Book of Revelation was very much on Protestant minds.
As always, NPTC takes the source material, existing scholarship and the First Folio version of any play we are working with, and applies these to our contemporary world in order to find our own "perspective". What we have "found" is that concern with The Book of Revelation and "end times" has once again entered the POLITICAL realm and its deeply disturbing. NPTC's vision of Doomsday isn't quite the one that the Apostle John "witnessed".
In our first presentation of this play at Theatre 54 we were able to achieve only part of our vision for the audio-visual elements necessary to support our vision of the play. In Fall 2012, for our 20th Anniversary Season, we will present the full production! MORE INFORMATION TO FOLLOW ON EXACT LOCATION AND PERFORMANCE TIMES!
Photo (right): Hamlet (Bernardo Curbrio) greets Rosencrantz (Mikaela Lynn Johnson) and Guildenstern (Steve Lynn).
Photo (below): Horatio (Rafael Jordan) bids "Good-night, sweet prince"
SPECIAL THANKS TO JOHN HUDSON, founder of The Dark Lady Players, for introducing me to Hamlet's Choice, by Linda Kay Hoff, and for sharing his research on the Shakespeare Authorship Question with us (and the rest of the world.) Check out John's theories on Amelia Bassano Lanyer as the true Bard! Although I am not specifically using John's conclusions on Hamlet in our production, they have informed my own thinking on it. Melody Brooks