I took my eight year old to see HAMLET at The Public. Here are her thoughts on it.
Words From A Third grade
“To be or not to be.”
Oh so you want me to tell you my opinion of Hamlet? Well I’ll tell you. This Hamlet I saw was like no other Hamlet I’ve seen before. (Not to mention the only Hamlet I ever seen in my entire life.) The best way you can hear this play, is if you send your teenagers to the play. Hamlet is, I would say, the perfect match for a teenager. That is, if the teenagers you know like drama. Hamlet is full of expressing true feelings out to the public. And I hope that will inspire your teenager to try to learn the beautiful wonders to be standing up and yelling, “I WANT TO BE HEARD!!!!” Well maybe not that loud. But loud enough to be heard. And quiet enough to not cause a scene. And Hamlet is full of yelling, drama, poetry, education, and of course; Shakespeare. Anyways you don’t only have to take your teenagers. You can go with your child, your baby, (only if your baby is fine with extreme loud sounds), your friend, and your girlfriend. And the ones who you wish were your girlfriend if you’d just man up and ask her out already!!!!!!!
Okay so apparently my sentence for Hamlet is, “I Am A Zing for Hamlet.” That’s my way of saying “amazing” about something. I give Hamlet a thumbs up.
Words from the third graders mother:
I told Beatrice that this would be the tenth Hamlet that I’ve seen on stage. Her response was, “WOW.” Then I asked her why theaters keep doing plays that everyone has already seen, especially Shakespeare? “Because a good story is fun to see or read over and over and over again. I’ve watched the DVD of Lion King 23 times and that’s the same story as Hamlet, so guess I’ve seen it more than you,” was her answer. Imitation the finest form of flattery.
Hamlet is a great story. A great story of revenge, heartache, betrayal.
And The Public Theatre’s Mobile Unit is great story telling. Their bare bones attack on the play allows for the words and emotions to rise to the top.
This is our second time seeing a Mobile Unit production and I am glad to have such an important Company in our city, taking Shakespeare to all five boroughs, to those who cannot make it to the theater, including those incarcerated.
CHUKWUDI IWUJI’s Hamlet is a force to be reckoned with. He fills the room with his heartache, his anger, his confusion. Moving about like an animal caught in a cage, a dancer flying over the dance floor, an unnatural creature prowling the night.
The cast eats the space up with their teeth, their hands, their nails, biting and clawing their way through the story. At an hour and forty minutes, they have pared the play down to its essentials. Director Patricia McGregor appeals to the younger audience members with her use of modern technology, as well as modern dress and attitude. Her focus on Hamlet and his mates and Ophelia shows us how much they are like any youth, anywhere, any time – with friendships and betrayals and love and hurt and emotions raging in and around them.
The play takes place in the round, so the audience gets to see one another throughout the evening. I was lucky to be able to watch three young women directly across from me watch the play for their first time. They were so “there” with the characters, so involved with what was transpiring live in front of them, their facial expressions reacting with each line of revealing dialogue. When Hamlet died, almost at their feet, their hands went to their mouths in shock and they were frozen, silent and starring unblinkingly.
With tickets only $20 a pop, take a friend or two, young or old, theater rat or novice. Even if this would be your hundredth Hamlet, go and become utterly involved again in a great story and support this very important Company, that goes to those who would not have the chance to experience what only theater can bring – involving, emotional, collective art.
HAMLET by William Shakespeare
Directed by Patricia McGregor
Featuring Orlagh Cassidy (Gertrude), Christian DeMarais (Laertes), Christopher Grant (Player King/Musician), Chukwudi Iwuji (Hamlet), Kristolyn Lloyd (Ophelia), Jeffrey Omura (Horatio), Daniel Pearce (Polonius/Gravedigger), Timothy Stickney (Claudius/Ghost), and Natalie Woolams-Torres (Rosencrantz).
Scenic Design by Katherine Akiko Day
Costume Design by Montana Levi Blanco
Composer Imani Uzuri
Movement Director Paloma McGregor
Fight Director Lisa Kopitsky
All Tickets Only $20
HAMLET will run at The Public Theater from Monday, September 19 through Sunday, October 9 in the Shiva Theater.
Tickets priced at $20 are available now and call be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555, visiting www.publictheater.org; or in person at the Taub Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street.
The sit-down performance schedule will be Tuesday through Sundays at 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (There is an added performance on Monday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. There is no performance on Friday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m.). Audience discussions will be held immediately following the performances on Friday, September 30; Saturday, October 1 at 2:00 p.m.; Sunday, October 2 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Post-show talkbacks with the creative team are scheduled to take place immediately following the performances on Saturday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday, October 5 at 7:00 p.m.
The Library at The Public is open nightly for food and drink, beginning at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.publictheater.org.
Beatrice Roy Wen Walters is a third grader at PS3 in the West Village, where she lives with her mom and dad and the dog, Arlo Guthrie Marshmallow – whom she wants you to know she named.