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HOW TO HAMLET, OR HAMLETING HAMLET


March 30 - April 14, 2017 at HERE

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HOW TO HAMLET, OR HAMLETING HAMLET


March 30 - April 14, 2017 at HERE

ENSEMBLE

created and performed by Theater Reconstruction Ensemble

written by John Kurzynowski and Jon Riddleberger

after William Shakespeare

conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski

Performers: Nathaniel Basch-Gould, Sam Corbin, Joshua William Gelb, Emily Marro

Producing Director: Reed Whitney

Associate Director: Lauren Swan-Potras | Sound Design: Kate Marvin and Alex Hawthorn | Production Design: Marika Kent | Production Manager: Markus Paminger | Stage Manager: Julia Levine | Sound-Op: Frank Pagliaro


SYNOPSIS

In How to Hamlet, or Hamleting Hamlet four actors are tasked with staging - you guessed it - Hamlet.

But will they shed new light on the most well known story in the English language? Can they escape the historical weight such a canonical play carries? Are they prepared to take on such a monumental challenge? As they confront their own artistic and academic anxieties their conversation transforms into a sort of séance, giving way to an unexpected conjuring of the ghosts of Hamlets past. Haunted by the stock characters of Shakespeare's classic - ghosts, scholars, kings, and grave-digging clowns - the actors are dragged deeper down the rabbit hole of theatrical history. Shakespeare's words swirl around them, but are never quite within their grasp.

Ultimately, their struggle to insert a piece of themselves into Shakespeare's masterpiece becomes the story of How to Hamlet, or Hamleting Hamlet, a non-linear experimental and meta-theatrical meditation on the Bard's most famous work.


support

This production is a part of SubletSeries@HERE: a curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support. 

How to Hamlet, or Hamleting Hamlet received a work-in-progress showing at the New Ohio Theatre as part of the Producers Club 2016.

Special thanks to Jaclyn Backhaus, Adrianna BrannonMatthew Capodicasa, Matt Carr, Mike Iveson, Benjamin Katz, Nick Lehane, Nicolas Norena, Anastasia Olowin, and Merlin Whitehawk for their artistic contributions to the development of this play.

Subsidized studio space provided by the A.R.T./New York Creative Space Grant, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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THE MAGNIFICENT MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS


In Development

THE MAGNIFICENT MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS


In Development

ENSEMBLE

created and performed by Theater Reconstruction Ensemble

after Booth Tarkington and Orson Welles

conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski


SYNOPSIS

In 1919 Booth Tarkington was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Magnificent Ambersons, "a typical story of an American family and town - the great Ambersons that locally ruled the roost and vanished virtually in a day as the town spread and darkened into a city."

In 1939 legendary auteur Orson Welles first adapted The Magnificent Ambersons for a one-hour radio drama performed by his Mercury Players on The Campbell Playhouse

In 1941 Welles began production on a film adaptation - his follow-up to Citizen Kane - featuring Mercury Players Ray Collins, Joseph Cotten, and Agnes Moorehead, with Welles providing narration. His adaptation featured a radically altered ending, which Cotten described as "more Chekhov than Tarkington."

In 1942 Welles traveled to South America to direct a propaganda film and lost control of the editing of The Magnificent Ambersons to RKO. The final version released to audiences differed significantly from his rough cut of the film - more than an hour of footage was cut by the studio, which also shot and substituted the novel's original ending. Although Welles' extensive notes for how he wished the film to be cut have survived, the excised footage was destroyed. A print of the rough cut sent to Welles in Brazil has yet to be found and is generally considered to be lost. Welles later reflected, "They destroyed Ambersons, and the picture itself destroyed me. I didn't get a job as a director for years afterwards."

In 2017 members of Theater Reconstruction Ensemble began working on a theatrical investigation into the trajectory of The Magnificent Ambersons from page to screen, drawing inspiration from Tarkington's original novel and Welles' film adaptation. Company member Jon Riddleberger described the project as "more Welles than Chekhov." Artistic Director John Kurzynowski traveled to Manhattan to direct a propaganda play and lost control of the editing of The Magnificent Magnificent Ambersons. The final version differs significantly from his rough draft of the play. This original draft has been lost by careless interns, but what remains will surely destroy both the reputation of those magnificent Ambersons and the lives of the artists attempting to bring their story to life. Kurzynowski recently predicted, "I won't get a job as a director for years afterwards."


SUPPORT

The Magnificent Magnificent Ambersons is being developed over the course of TRE's 2017-2018 season dedicated to nurturing our company's artistic process. There is no production timeline currently in place.