In a recent post on the Folger’s Collation blog, assistant curator Elizabeth DeBold shared a small set of photographs, newly added to the Folger collection, that document a 1933 Japanese production of Hamlet: These five photos provide a glimpse of a production of Hamlet performed at the Tsukiji Shogekijo, the “Tsukiji Little Theater,” aptly named… Continue Reading »
Posts Tagged: Hamlet
In June, Ian McKellen will take the stage as the title character in Hamlet at the Theatre Royal Windsor. McKellen is no stranger to the role: he played Hamlet in Prospect Theatre Company’s touring production a half century ago. It may seem surprising to find an octogenarian—McKellen turns 82 this month—playing the part of the… Continue Reading »
When it comes to the theatrical landscape of Shakespeare’s London, there are the plays whose names we are familiar with — plays like Hamlet and Henry V — and then there are the plays that were being performed around the same time and that Shakespeare’s audiences would have known well, but that are lost to us today. Read an excerpt from a new book about these plays.
Double-casting is a theater technique (as opposed to a literary one) that creates a meta-narrative, transforming a large-cast play into a present-tense adventure. Actors swapping costumes and changing roles (and sometimes genders) becomes part of the thrilling ride, and theater’s fundamental artifice becomes its strength. Theater’s very artificiality becomes a feature, not a bug. Shakespeare utilized this trick to both amplify subtext and heighten the drama.
“To be or not to be” – do you know what comes after? This quiz challenges you to drag and drop the lines of Hamlet’s famous speech into the correct order.
During this global pandemic, when the whole world is quarantined to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hamlet seems like a character perfectly suited to our present moment. He’s also stuck at home, unable to return to school, despondent after suffering great loss, and so distraught by governmental change and the behavior of family… Continue Reading »
Well-known Shakespeare characters such as King Lear and Hamlet suffer (or appear to suffer) from madness — and early American psychiatrists took note. Observations drawn from literature began to bleed into courtroom testimony regarding insanity pleas. “From the mid-1840s through about the mid-1860s in the United States, during the first generation of American psychiatry, no… Continue Reading »
Shakespeare’s plays are full of references to food and cookery, but they’re not always very appetizing. In Hamlet, the ghost of elder Hamlet describes the effect of the poison that Claudius pours into his ears, how it winds its way through the veins of his body and suddenly “doth posset / And curd, like eager… Continue Reading »
“Write what you know” is the age-old wisdom young writers are always given, and though he never wrote a backstage comedy (or, for that matter, a backstage history, tragedy, or romance), William Shakespeare filled his plays with the tricks of his theatrical trade. I’m not talking about the theater techniques any playwright uses to tell… Continue Reading »
Maybe ’twas ever thus, but the current crop of cultural programming in the theatre and on film and television is awash with prequels and sequels to existing stories and characters, providing audiences with comforting continuations of familiar narratives and critics with opportunities to decry the dearth of original ideas. So it seems only right to… Continue Reading »