English teachers to see ‘Hamlet’ performance

Jensen Pak

AP English Literature teachers will head to the Broad Stage in Santa Monica on Nov. 17 to see the Globe Theatre’s production of Hamlet.

English teacher Jocelyn Medawar thought up the trip after reading the Globe’s newsletter.

Medawar, a Shakespeare enthusiast, has long been a fan of Shakespeare’s London-based Globe Theatre.

“Whatever the Globe Theatre does, it is always thoughtful with pointed, distinct interpretations,” Medawar said.

This production caught Medawar’s attention because of its description as a pared down performance.

“It’s a spare, stripped down Hamlet that gives the audience the feeling of what a touring production would have been like in Shakespeare’s time,” Medawar said.

There are eight performers for nearly 30 roles performing upon an Elizabethan-style stage. Sound effects are created by the actors themselves through a myriad of instruments, while lighting is aimed to mimic the natural lighting of outdoor performances.

The play, however, is distinguished by more than its performance. Directors Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst have included lines from the first quarto of Hamlet. Quartos are quarter blank sheets used to form eight book pages on which plays during the Elizabethan era were first printed. Many of Shakespeare’s quartos, though, are ignored due to their errors and omissions.

Nevertheless, lines from the first quarto of Hamlet have been used because they are believed to be part of the first touring script. Additionally, quartos are distinct in that they were all published during Shakespeare’s lifetime.

The production has received several good reviews both in and out of the United Kingdom. The Broad Stage describes it as a “fresh, fast and youthful staging brimming with existential angst, Oedipal impulses and paranormal activity. Even if you’ve seen Hamlet a hundred times before, missing this one would be the greatest tragedy of all.”

Medawar, along with English teachers Ariana Kelly, Jeremy Michaelson, Lisa Rado and Larry Weber,  will attend.