Wednesday, April 18, 2007


When we performed the play last July, I knew I wanted to do it again, having had the feeeling that I was just beginning to really explore it when we had to close. Also, the audience response from friends and acquaintances was so positive that I felt it was a shame the production couldn't reach a wider audience (we're a rockin' ensemble, if I do say so myself). While at first it's jarring, if not downright painful , to hear, "To be or not to be, ay, there's the point," and a lot of the poetry is gone (no what a piece of work is man nor flights of angels - to name just 2 of my faves - boo), many of the responses I still get from people excited about our remounting is that they finally understood the play.

For me, it was actually immersing in the play that hooked me. I started researching various venues and festivals, started looking at Shakespeare in general -- the great women's roles -- more closely again. Along the way I got a mass email from Jason, our Hamlet, that an acting coach he admired (and I think our Claudius, Thomas, may have worked with her... Thomas?) was offering another class on Shakespeare and part of it was going to focus on Hamlet. Long story short, I took the class which, providentially, ended up focusing entirely on Hamlet. Annie was amazing. Talk about maximum involvement. She had studied the play for 30+ years and her insight was greater and deeper than I could accurately keep notes on or even absorb. Also, it was refreshing to meet someone who's been around for a while and doesn't feel the need to trade in passion for patronization and playing the guru (am I the only one who finds that prevalent in theater?).

Aside from the Hamlet-is-a-dead-man-once-he-meets-the-Ghost insight, she shed some other light and provided some tools I'll throw in here and there...


Thomas said...

You bet I studied with her and FELL IN LOVE. What passion, sage insight and experience! She made tears come to my eyes just to hear her talk of the plays. I couldn't take the Hamlet class you took (but wanted to desperately) because of a show I was doing (Paula Vogel - Long Christmas Ride Home). I am, however, planning to take a Thursday mid-day class with her starting soon.

gaby said...

I had the same reaction. I would say she's the one who probably pushed me over the edge. What was a fairly controlled obsession turned into complete bonkersville. Which is why I couldn't believe the production actually got another breath of life. What the f*!? does that mean now?