Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Cricket’s Hamlet Adventure: Last Day–Flights and Angels

All really great things come to an end. Today was the last day of the Summer Academy. The day consisted of presenting our projects and acting out our scenes. What amazing projects the talented  participants  provided! They ranged from exploring the historical context of the ghost to women playing Hamlet (Sarah Bernhardt) to studying how Hamlet has been visually represented in old illustrations–and so much in between. I am humbled to have been part of this cavalcade of ingenuity. Since these 29 teachers are from all parts of the continental US, you  can rest assured quality education is still very much and profoundly around.

The second highlight involved performing. We only had two practices but some people managed to memorize their lines! Our group was assigned Act Five and we stylized it as a cocktail party. Hamlet played some melancholy blues on the stage piano and when Laertes walked into the party they fought with the cocktail swords. It brought down the house. I played my Horatio a bit too heartfelt. In retrospect, I would have camped it up considering my BFF was basically a lush and tended towards rash actions with deterimental consequences. 

What was really cool was the fact that we acted on America’s first Shakespearean stage.  Yup, my first and last stage Bard play appearance (maybe) took place on an authentic stage. The film crew did not return, which took a lot of pressure off our already ramped up nervousness.

Last events included food, fun, and fellowship–the best parts of the day.

Tomorrow I head back to (still) hot (but not muggy) Northwest. 

See ya around, DC. The rest will be a much anticipated silence from the continual hum of a great city. 

twice a day I passed the Capitol–wow!

Trivia: Folger broke tradition and kept the reliefs low so that people could see them. Each represents a Shakespearean play.

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15 thoughts on “Cricket’s Hamlet Adventure: Last Day–Flights and Angels

  1. i can totally hamlet at a cocktail party. sounds amazing. what a fun time!

  2. Wow, the dome looks like a beehive. Lots of restoration happening there. Your production sounds like it should play at the Wooly Mammoth in DC. Would be quite welcome, I’m sure. Better yet, someone should have taped it so you could post it to your blog.

  3. That sounds like so much fun! Hamlet at a cocktail party … there’s a mental image!

  4. Ok. I know you are really going to appreciate this… Are you ready? I got a ticket last night to see a production of ‘Hamlet’ when I’m in London, the role of Hamlet being played by Benedict Cumberbatch! I almost passed out with excitement. Now I really need to read Hamlet before I go away – I haven’t read it since high school!

    • *jumping excitedly* Wow and double wow! That is so absolutely amazing!! I wonder how they will theme the production…Jude Law’s was contemporarily minimal. Who is Ophelia? I’m so happy for you!! Enjoy ! What version will you read? Folger Library is well done, very nicely researched. I use the Signet Classic in class. When will you see it?

      • Ophelia is being played by Sian Brooke, who I’ve never heard of. BUT! Claudius is being played by Ciaran Hinds who’s another actor I really love, so that’s amazing as well (the full cast and creative is here I was so lucky to get a ticket – it was completely sold out but I managed to get one that was returned by technical staff. I’m going on August 27th, which is my last day in London – so it will be the very last thing I do on my holiday. It doesn’t get better than that. AND I’m going to see Richard II at The Globe as well – I’m going to be all Shakespeared out!
        I have a nice big hardcover that has all Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets in it, so I’ll probably just read that. I might get an audiobook to listen to as I read as well.

      • Oh my–Ciaran will be a most amazing Claudius! The stage will sizzle with those two. I will definitely keep tabs on this performance. Maybe they will tape it and it will become available for the masses who didn’t score a lucky ticket. What a way to end your holiday👏🏻

      • I actually saw this morning that it will be showing in cinemas worldwide through National Theatre – I think starting October 15. Hopefully it shows near you – I think you can check here

      • Thanks for the heads up–this might be doable…

      • No problem! I watched their film of ‘Frankenstein’ with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller and it was really well done; just like being there!

  5. “acted on America’s first Shakespearean stage.”—That is very cool! What a great experience that must’ve been.

    • I played, Horatio, my favorite Hamlet character, making it a very noteworthy experience. I am a terrible actor apparently as one person interpreted my heartfelt pain of Hamlet passing as “smarmy.” I should have gotten a clarification–maybe that was a compliment.

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