Hamlet

Great News! Extended Early Bard Savings for the 2015/16 Season!

As an extra special Halloween treat, Shakespeare in Action will be extending the Early Bard discount on bookings of our upcoming tours Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop and Suddenly Shakespeare!

Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop- November 23- December 4, 2015 and April 18- May 6, 2016

Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop is a vibrant, interactive presentation that demonstrates how modern hip-hop shares many similarities with the themeslanguage and rhythm used by Shakespeare. Both are full of poetry, word play and lyricism, and both deal with what it is to be human.

The presentation features three professional actors, thumb-nail sketches of Shakespeare’s life and times, and key scenes & speeches from Shakespeare’s most popularly studied plays – including MacbethRomeo & Juliet and Hamlet.

Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop brings alive the parallels between the world of the plays and their own contemporary experience. It’s the perfect complement to your in-class teaching of a specific play, in the beginning, in the middle or at the end.

Suddenly Shakespeare- April 4-15, 2016

This Spring, Shakespeare in Action brings Kim Selody’s sparking production of Suddenly Shakespeare to your school.

This hour long performance brings four of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays –Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Macbeth and Twelfth Night – to life for children ages five to seventy-five. Featuring music, dance and physical comedy, the performance is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for young audiences.

Shakespeare in Action’s Artistic Director, Michael Kelly, describes the show as “a feast of magic, laughter, music and spectacle.” He says, “Suddenly Shakespeare will knock your kids’ socks off! Shakespeare’s stories are so magical, and the show allows kids, no matter what their age, to really participate with the material in a fun and engaging way.”

*Book either of these shows before October 31, 2015, and SAVE $50!

For more information, or to book, please call (416) 703-4881, or e-mail info@shakespeareinaction.org!

Hamburger or salad – that is the question: Danish Prince holds back line at local fast food restaurant

Everybody knows that the number one rule when ordering in a fast food restaurant is to decide what you want before getting in line.

However, this morning during rush hour, the Prince of Denmark, known as “Hamlet”, created a scene at a local fast food restaurant, angering several customers.

“He walked through the doors his doublet all unbrac’d, no hat upon his head, pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other, and with a look so exhausted as if he had of late lacked all his sleep and caffeine,” said Ophelia, a nearby witness, also known to be Hamlet’s girlfriend.

According to other witnesses and security cameras, Hamlet stumbled into the restaurant, his appearance and behavior disturbing several customers trying to eat. A couple of minutes later, he got in line behind two people and stood with his head staring at the ceiling, followed by a couple of heavy sighs. Meanwhile, eight others lined up behind Hamlet, observing him with concern. A local nurse was seen holding his arm, constantly asking if he was alright, while her husband considered calling 911.

When the Prince finally made his way to the cashier counter, he stood for several minutes staring at the menu above him, while both the cashier and customers stood, tapping their feet and checking their watches.

The cashier asked him: “Excuse me, sir. How may I help you?”

The Danish Prince tilted his head upwards, let out another huge sigh, and said something along the lines of  “Hamburger or salad…that is the question…” His voice was inaudible for many, including the cashier. Fortunately, Polonius, a customer behind him managed to record what Hamlet was saying on his phone:

 

Image Source: blog.ambassadorhighway.com

Image Source: blog.ambassadorhighway.com

 

Hamburger or salad – that is the question.  Whether ’tis nobler in the body to suffer heart attacks as a result of obesity, or to distress my watering taste buds, by opposing their juicy beef-pattied desire?  To crave, to fatten; to fatten, enlarge the diameter of my tummy.  Ay, there’s the rub; for in that extra flesh gained what diseases may come, when we have satisfied every taste bud on the tongue, must give us illness.  There’s the respect that makes healthy meals so essential for life; for who would bear the mushiness of avocados and the blandness of all vegetables, when he himself might end his endless hunger with a single French fry? Who would these ones bear, to starve and suffer on an overwhelming diet, but that the consequence of something after that satisfying richness of burgers – the blocked passageways of arteries, followed by a painful chest and a possible death – puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear the diet we have than risk what health critics warn us of. Thus obesity does cause suffering of us all..”

The jangling, ear-piercing roars and threats from angry customers attracted the attention of several police.  Polonius was quick to leave the line, approach the police, and play them the recording on his phone.

“This is the very cause of this scene. This man hath kept those poor fools waiting to order their meals. Since brevity is the soul of wit and that all danger must be prevented in this town, I shall speak no more, but report this crime to you immediately, ” said Polonius to Sergeant Claudius who was busy polishing off the remains of the donut he was eating.

The drama came to an end when Officer Horatio, Hamlet’s good friend, put his arm around him, whispered something about a ghost, and the two walked out the door.  Neither witnesses nor cameras caught the exact words that managed to move the Prince of Denmark out of the restaurant.

Written by Isabelle Ma, Summer Student

Summer Camp – Day 19 – “Hamlet” (Teen Camp Show!)

The play in pictures – a mix of photos from the morning’s dress rehearsal and the final show:

- Young Co. for Teens -  L-R: 3 Lords, Laertes, Ophelia, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet.  King Claudius:

– Young Co. for Teens –
L-R: 3 Lords, Laertes, Ophelia, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet. King Claudius: “Though yet of Hamlet, our dear brother’s death, the memory be green…”

Horatio tells his good friend, Hamlet, about a Ghost: "A figure like your father, armed at point exactly, appears..."

Horatio tells his good friend, Hamlet, about a Ghost: “A figure like your father, armed at point exactly, appears…”

L-R: Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia.  Polonius blesses his son before his son leaves for France.

L-R: Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia. Polonius blesses his son before his son leaves for France.

L-R: Polonius and his daughter, Ophelia.  Ophelia: [Hamlet] hath, my lord, of late made many tenders of his affection to me.

L-R: Polonius and his daughter, Ophelia. Ophelia: [Hamlet] hath, my lord, of late made many tenders of his affection to me.”

L-R: Marcellus, Hamlet, Horatio see the Ghost and jump back. Hamlet:

L-R: Marcellus, Hamlet, Horatio see the Ghost and jump back. Hamlet: “Angels and ministers of grace defend us!”

L-R: Ghost of Hamlet Senior, Horatio, Hamlet, Marcellus - a photo taken from the balcony earlier in the week.

L-R: Ghost of Hamlet Senior, Horatio, Hamlet, Marcellus – a photo taken from the balcony earlier in the week.

The Ghost of Hamlet Senior speaks to Hamlet: "I am thy father's spirit...If thou didst ever thy dear father love, revenge his foul and most unnatural murder."  Hamlet feigns madness to seek out the truth.

The Ghost of Hamlet Senior speaks to Hamlet: “I am thy father’s spirit…If thou didst ever thy dear father love, revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” Hamlet feigns madness to seek out the truth.

L-R: Polonius and Ophelia, who describes her frightful encounter with Hamlet.

L-R: Polonius and Ophelia, who describes her frightful encounter with Hamlet.

L-R: Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude.  The King and Queen ask the two to find the cause of Hamlet's madness.

L-R: Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude. The King and Queen ask the two to find the cause of Hamlet’s madness.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Polonius, King Claudius.  Polonius reads Hamlet's love letter, , believing love to be the cause of Hamlet's madness.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Polonius, King Claudius. Polonius reads Hamlet’s love letter, believing love to be the cause of Hamlet’s madness.

Hamlet "reads." Note the orientation of the book.

Hamlet “reads.” Note the orientation of the book.

L-R: Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern.  Hamlet knows his friends are reporting to the King:

L-R: Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern. Hamlet knows his friends are reporting to the King: “I am but mad north-north-west…I know a hawk from a hand-saw.”

The Players arrive.  Hamlet will have them act "The Murder of Gonzago," a story that mirrors the murder of Hamlet Senior.  He wants to see King Claudius' reaction - to "catch his conscience."

The Players arrive. Hamlet will have them act “The Murder of Gonzago,” a story that mirrors the murder of Hamlet Senior. He wants to see King Claudius’ reaction – to “catch his conscience.”

Hamlet:

Hamlet: “To be, or not to be, that is the question…”

Ophelia is shaken; Hamlet suspects that her father, Polonius, is spying:

Ophelia is shaken; Hamlet suspects that her father, Polonius, is spying: “Let the doors be shut upon him…”

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Horatio. Hamlet:

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Horatio. Hamlet: “There is a play to-night before the king…Observe mine uncle…”

L-R: Guildenstern and Rosencrantz watch "The Murder of Gonzago" - Hamlet's "mouse-trap."  The play within the play was filmed and shown on screen.

L-R: Guildenstern and Rosencrantz watch “The Murder of Gonzago” – Hamlet’s “mouse-trap.” The play within the play was filmed and shown on screen.

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Guildenstern, Rosencrantz. Hamlet: "Do you think I am easier to be play'd on than a pipe?"

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Guildenstern, Rosencrantz. Hamlet: “Do you think I am easier to be play’d on than a pipe?”

L-R: King Claudius and Hamlet.  Hamlet:

L-R: King Claudius and Hamlet. Hamlet: “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying…”

Queen Gertrude tells King Claudius that Hamlet has killed Polonius (his death scene was on film).

Queen Gertrude tells King Claudius that Hamlet has killed Polonius (his death scene was on film).

Ophelia unravels after her father's death, descends into madness and sings: "He is dead and gone, lady..."

Ophelia unravels after her father’s death, descends into madness and sings: “He is dead and gone, lady…”

L-R: Laertes, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius.  Laertes:

L-R: Laertes, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius. Laertes: “Where is my father?…How came he dead?”

Ophelia:

Ophelia: “And in his grave rain’d many a tear…”

Laertes:

Laertes: “Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!”

King Claudius and Laertes plot revenge against Halmet. The King will set up a duel, through which Laertes can kill Hamlet. King Claudius: "Revenge should have no bounds."

King Claudius and Laertes plot revenge against Halmet. The King will set up a duel, through which Laertes can kill Hamlet. King Claudius: “Revenge should have no bounds.”

Ophelia has drowned.  Laertes:

Ophelia has drowned. Laertes: “I have a speech of fire, but this folly douts it.”

L-R: Clown and Hamlet.  Hamlet:

L-R: Clown and Hamlet. Hamlet: “Whose grave’s this, sirrah?”

Hamlet:

Hamlet: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio…”

Laertes and Hamlet grapple in Ophelia's grave, as other rush to intervene.

Laertes and Hamlet grapple in Ophelia’s grave, as other rush to intervene.

L-R: Attendants, Laertes, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, Attendant, Horatio.  Hamlet:

L-R: Attendants, Laertes, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, Attendant, Horatio. Hamlet: “I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love, make up my sum.”

L-R: Hamlet and Osric, who presents the wager.

L-R: Hamlet and Osric, who presents the wager.

L-R: Laertes, King Claudius, Hamlet.

L-R: Laertes, King Claudius, Hamlet.

L-R: Laertes and Osric. Laertes chooses a

L-R: Laertes and Osric. Laertes chooses a “sword unbated” anointed “with contagion.”

Osric presents the foils to Hamlet, as King Claudius stands by.

Osric presents the foils to Hamlet, as King Claudius stands by.

King Claudius announces the wager.

King Claudius announces the wager.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Osric, Hamlet, Lord, Horatio.  Queen Gertrude offers Hamlet a drink which, unbeknownst to her, is poisoned.  Hamlet refuses...and Gertrude drinks it.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Osric, Hamlet, Lord, Horatio. Queen Gertrude offers Hamlet a drink which, unbeknownst to her, is poisoned. Hamlet refuses…and Gertrude drinks it.

Osric:

Osric: “Nothing, neither way.”

Centre: Osric tends to the wounded Laertes. Right: Queen Gertrude collapses in Hamlet's arms.  Hamlet, too, is near death.  Queen Gertrude: "The drink, the drink! I am poison'd."

Centre: Osric tends to the wounded Laertes. Right: Queen Gertrude collapses in Hamlet’s arms. Hamlet, too, is near death. Queen Gertrude: “The drink, the drink! I am poison’d.”

Hamlet poisons King Claudius:

Hamlet poisons King Claudius: “Thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, drink off this potion…”

Hamlet dies in Horatio's arms.

Hamlet dies in Horatio’s arms.

Horatio (far right):

Horatio (far right): “Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”

The cast and directing team!

The cast and directing team!

Oh dear...

Oh dear…

Joe, Director

Joe, Director & Filmmaker

Sabio, Assistant Director

Sabio, Assistant Director

Gabriella, Assistant Director, Kids' Camp

Gabriella, Assistant Director, Kids’ Camp

Isabelle, Summer Student

Isabelle, Summer Student

Summer Camp – Day 18

The duel between Hamlet and Laertes was going to be on film, but it was later shifted to the stage, so that everyone could be together in front of the audience at the end of the show.

Much of the morning was spent tweaking and rehearsing the duel, as well as the deaths of Queen Gertrude, King Claudius, Laertes, and Hamlet.

 

- Young Co. for Teens -  Joe watches as the ensemble rehearses the graveyard scene.

– Young Co. for Teens –
Joe watches as the ensemble rehearses the penultimate scene of the play – the graveyard grapple.

Claudius joins Laertes' & Hamlet's hands.

Claudius joins Laertes’ & Hamlet’s hands.

Osric presents the foils to Laertes.

Osric presents the foils to Laertes.

Laertes and Hamlet prepare to duel.

Laertes and Hamlet prepare to duel.

Alas! Poor Yorick…. I made him myself, Horatio…

Hello, my name is Isabelle, and in case you’re wondering who I am……..I am a summer co-op student contributing my creativity, artistic skill, and passion to this year’s summer camp.

That’s right, folks! Just like the foils, Hamlet’s crown, and Old Hamlet’s armor, Yorick was handmade by a crafty, creative, and artistic member of the Hamlet summer camp production team. Of course Yorick couldn’t have been made without the inspiration from the outstanding actors of the show, and the supportive SIA staff. Just in case anybody here is curious, here is the process on how Yorick was made.

First off, like all handmade projects from scratch, Yorick started off as nothing but a roll of wire. The wire is to be bent, shaped, and put together into a frame to give the skull its shape. It was a painful process for the hands, as it is required to precisely bend the hard, thick, and pointy wire into the desired shape. Furthermore, the wire is also slippery and hard to tie in place. However, with the help of masking tape and some strands of thin wire, the wire is easily held together to keep its shape. This is an important process, as the wire frame needs to be as accurate as possible for canvas cloth to lay over it smoothly. The details such as the skull’s eyes and nose holes also need to be clearly marked out, so it would show up clearly when the cloth gets draped over it.

 

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 1 - wire

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 1 – wire

 

Next off, as most of you may have already guessed….it’s time to give Yorick some “flesh” (well….the wire acts as his bones…). A sheet of artists’ canvas is to be draped over the frame to make it look like a skull. Although this may sound easy….it really isn’t…. Since the artists’ canvas is hard and stiff, it is hard to get it to lie smoothly over the frame, therefore it must be accurately cut into the shapes of each gap to follow the shape of the frame. Afterwards, the pieces cut out are then to be hot glued onto the frame to cover up all the holes (except for the eyes and nose, of course!)

 

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 2 - canvas

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 2 – canvas

 

Now that Yorick has the shape and appearance of a realistic skull….he is ready to star in the famous graveyard scene. No wait! A skull that has been buried in the dirt for several years, obviously doesn’t look that clean and perfect. It’s a little too perfect…..so it’s time to destroy it a bit……….well…not actually destroying the hard work put in to it, but to define it. So some acrylic paint is used to paint on the skull to give it a dirty and aged look like it has truly been living in the dirt for many years. Last but not least, Yorick needs teeth, so we took beads from a necklace that looks like teeth, painted them, and glued them to his mouth. A fun fact about this is that we have debated on whether Yorick should have teeth or not, because hygiene was poor during Shakespeare times. Laboni jokingly suggested that Yorick must have had dentures, but Michael said that there were no dentures during that time. Then I suggested that Yorick must have starved to death after he lost all his teeth. So, I went with a little bit of both ideas. I decided to give Yorick some teeth, but with a few missing to show his aging.

 

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 3 - paint...and teeth!

Isabelle & Yorick, phase 3 – paint…and teeth!

 

And…..finally……Yorick is done and ready to star in the famous graveyard scene along with the talented actors of the teen camp.

Summer Camp – Days 15 to 17

Hamlet is one day away!

This has been a busy week for filming – Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus’ first encounter with the ghost of Hamlet Senior; as well as Queen Gertrude in her closet.

When filming, the same segment must be filmed over and over again from different angles.  A huge thank-you to the actors for their patience, stamina, and consistent effort!

 

- Young Co. for Teens -  On set for a day of filming: Queen Gertrude hears Hamlet...

– Young Co. for Teens –
On set for a day of filming: Queen Gertrude hears Hamlet…

In a long, dark hallway in the basement...filming the first encounter with the Ghost.  Marcellus: "Look, where it comes again!"

In a long, dark hallway in the basement…filming the first encounter with the Ghost. Marcellus: “Look, where it comes again!”

IMG_3299 Shakespeare in Action - Summer Camp - 2015 - Teens - Hamlet - Question it, Horatio

Horatio: “What art thou that usurp’st this time of night?”

Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus flee in fear, as Isabelle (left) and Gabriella (centre) capture the sound for the scene.

Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus flee in fear, as Isabelle (left) and Gabriella (centre) capture the sound for the scene.

Hamlet takes to the stage, the second of three in our show.

Hamlet takes to the stage, the second of three in our show.

Ophelia

Ophelia

Summer Camp – Days 10 to 14

The Young Company for Teens has had a busy week, rehearsing both on-stage and on-screen scenes.  Props, costumes, and a little bit of fake blood have been thrown into the mix – all the elements are coming together!

 

- Young Co. for Teens -  In rehearsal, Laertes and Hamlet grapple in the graveyard.

– Young Co. for Teens –
In rehearsal, Laertes and Hamlet grapple in the graveyard.

The foils! How we love gold duct tape!

The foils! How we love gold duct tape!

Assistant Director, Sabio, leads the ensemble in an early-morning warm-up

Assistant Director, Sabio, leads the ensemble in an early-morning warm-up

On break with Ophelia's body double

On break with Ophelia’s body double

Making fake blood - with corn syrup, chocolate syrup, red and green food colouring

Making fake blood – with corn syrup, chocolate syrup, red and green food colouring

Voice work

Voice work

Queen Gertrude and King Claudius listen, as Polonius reads Hamlet's love letter

Queen Gertrude and King Claudius listen, as Polonius reads Hamlet’s love letter

Director, Joe Bucci, blocks the play within the play, one of several screen scenes

Director, Joe Bucci, blocks the play within the play, one of several screen scenes

The players

The players