Concerned that because the most famous of all Shakespeare’s plays had been done so many times before, a truly creative, well-conceived, and meaningful originality could not be achieved, the Quasinational Players production of Hamlet simply decided to make the play shitty instead of putting in any work.
Director Chris Marlowe explained “After careful deliberation, we decided the best way for us to make our mark on this play would be to make the experience entirely unbearable for everyone involved.”
While most productions spend extraordinary lengths of time analyzing the text, developing symbolisms in all aspects, and encouraging actors to achieve a deep understanding of their character, Marlowe opted for a different approach.
“We made sure that none of our actors had any experience with Shakespeare, or even theater, in order to create a distinctive, shitty feel.”
Other directorial choices included spending the entire costuming budget at Hot Topic, making sure all sound effects had no sense of balance, and inserting an intermission at the point which made the least sense and killed any momentum in the play as efficiently as possible. “Imagine,” Marlowe exclaimed, “‘To be or…’—then boom: intermission. It doesn’t get more obnoxious than that.”
Ben Jonson, who played Hamlet offered “After spending absolutely no time going over the text, I decided that Omelet would best be portrayed as a southern Californian skater struggling with an opioid addiction and an inability to convey feeling. I also found that the best way to destroy any chance of audience engagement was to deliver every line directly to them, ignoring any generally accepted concept of acting. I think it really speaks to people.”
“The first act went off without a hitch; you could really see the disgust on the faces of the audience” Marlowe went on. “Unfortunately, during the second act, it appeared as if the actors were in character, showing sincere emotion, and even stirring feeling among the audience, and we just can’t be making mistakes like that if we want to keep the reviews negative, you just can’t afford those slips. So hopefully we’ll be able to learn from these mistakes and do worse the next time.”
The touring production will be visiting twenty more cities during its run, and hopes to be run out of all of them by an angry mob of patrons demanding their money back.
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