Hamlet (1999) Photo/Foto: HIDVL
  • Title: Hamlet
  • Holdings: video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: 02:27:09
  • Language: English
  • Date: 3 Jul 1999
  • Location: The Performing Garage, New York City.
  • Type-Format: play, performance
  • Cast: George Hannah (Hamlet), Gerry Bamman (Ghost, Claudius), Marissa Copeland (Gertrude), Paula Murray Cole (Ofelia), David Letwin (Horatio), Omar Shapli (Polonius, Priest), Scott Harrison (Laertes), Michele Minnick (Rosencrantz), Debora Cahn (Guilderstone), Elizabeth Claire (Woman with Violin), Lars Hansen (Francisco, Voltemar, Player King, Fortinbras), David Anzuelo (Bernardo, Montano, Captain, Gravedigger 2, Osrick), Don Campbell (Marcellus, Lucianus, Messenger, Gravedigger 1), Stephen Clapp (Cornelius, Prologist, Sailor, Ambassador) ; Andrea Larson (musician), Erol Tamerman (musician), Laura Biaggi (musician), Rebecca Ortese (singer), Becke Wilenski (Player Queen).
  • Credits: Richard Schechner, producer, director ; East Coast Artists, producer ; William Shakespeare, writer ; Erol Tamerman, music director, original music ; Liz Claire, original music, choreographer ; Shari Krauss, stage manager ; Dan Jagendorf, sets ; Colin Young, lighting ; Louisa Thompson, costumes ; Stephen Weitz, fight coach.

Hamlet (1999)

For this East Coast Artists production, Schechner largely used the 1603 First Quarto and character names derived from earlier source texts. Schechner proposes a collision of 21st century American popular culture, Elizabethan poetry, and a medieval Danish story. Using contemporary U.S. idiomatic expressions, ballroom dancing, and pop icons such as Marilyn Monroe (Gertred) and Shirley Temple (Ofelia), Hamlet embodies a cyclone of tragedy enacted within the postmodernity of the 21st century. As Schechner writes in his program note, Monroe and others steal the words of Shakespeare's characters and haunt the play from the future -- just as Gertrude, an ancient woman, haunts it from the past. Claudius is both a Viking pirate and a contemporary globalizing marauder, blustering and handsome. Polonius is a talking head, a TV pundit full of shopworn sagacity. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are literally rats, their tails trailing behind them as they do tap routines. Claudius hums Broadway tunes. The "Get thee to a nunnery" scene transforms from a ballroom dance number into a violent encounter. Polonius is in an incestuous relationship with Ofelia who is much too old to wear the clothes she does. When her father is murdered, Ofelia cracks up. Hamlet is angry, lost, an outsider in his own home, ironic, crazy, and determined in his indeterminacy.