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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: May ::
Seattle All-Female Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0381  Wednesday, 3 May 2006

From: 		Steve Roth <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 2 May 2006 07:20:32 -0700
Subject: 	Seattle All-Female Hamlet

To all SHAKSPERians in the Seattle region: I've had the good luck to 
connect with a kind of remarkable director to put on a production that 
I've been thinking fondly of for some years: an all-female Hamlet. (The 
actors, not the characters.) It's running three weekends, 
Thursday-Saturday, starting May 18. (Plus a Sunday Matinee May 21.) 
Details below.

The all-female bit may seem like a gimmick--and it does serve that 
marketing purpose--but there are strong dramatic and theatrical reasons 
for it as well, which I'd be happy to detail if anyone shows any glimmers 
of interest.

Shaksperians may also find the production of special interest because, 
among other things:

1. It stages the To Be speech as envisioned by James Hirsch in his various 
writings (notably his book Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies, 
Fairleigh Dickinson 2003)--as an elaborate eavesdropping scene in which 
Hamlet uses the speech as a vehicle in his disinformation campaign aimed 
at the lurkers behind the arras (not as a profound unpacking of his inner 
self to the audience).

Marcia Eppich-Harris brought Hirsh's book up for discussion here back in 
2003, prompting a fairly lengthy thread, starting here:

http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2003/0802.html

Unfortunately, as is too often the case here I'm sad to say, none of the 
responders addressed Hirsh's book, or seem to have read it. My two cents 
from that thread are here:

http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2003/0888.html

In any case, no production that I've seen and am aware of has ever staged 
the speech in accord with Hirsh's insights--insights which to me seem 
profoundly "right." It imparts a dramatic tension to the scene that may 
not have been played since Betterton and Davenant hijacked the play after 
the restoration. It's working remarkably well in rehearsal. We'll see how 
it plays to an audience...

2. It plays the mousetrap as described in my EMLS article, "Who Knows Who 
Knows Who's There: An Epistemology of Hamlet (or, What Happens in the 
Mousetrap)."

http://www.shu.ac.uk/emls/10-2/rothepis.htm

It seems to make for a very, very tense mousetrap--for the main 
characters, the inner audience, and the outer audience (us). Again, I look 
foward to seeing how it plays to a house.

We're looking to pack the house for opening night (May 18), so if anyone 
wants comp tickets for that night, or others, let me know. Here are the 
details

Animus Theatre Project presents Hamlet
East Hall Theatre (in the Freehold)
1525 10th Ave.

7:30 pm, Thur. -Sat.
May 18, 19, 20, 21 (2 pm Sun. matinee) or May 25, 26, 27 o June 1, 2, 3

Tickets: http://brownpapertickets.com/event/4588 - 800/838-3006

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