The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0381 Wednesday, 3 May 2006
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.)
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
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:
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:
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
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
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
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>
DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions
expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor
assumes no responsibility for them.