Life is Funny, except when it's really not

Musings of a wacky American Muslim, with an obsession for all things literary, Asian pop culture and gummi candy as she lives life embracing both the funny and the not-so-funny.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Globe Theatre Performance of Hamlet

I'm an English major, so loving Shakespeare is kind of a given!

Hamlet, in particular is one of my favorite plays by the Bard. I read it in its entirety for the first time last semester when I took a Shakespeare course. One thing that my Prof. constantly said as we read the plays was that we should always keep in mind that Shakespeare's plays were written to be performed, not read. 

And so, I continued living my life with those words in the back of my mind. I secretly hoped for a chance to see a performance, perhaps even at the actual Globe Theatre in London, but I didn't actively go looking for one.

You know that dude or dudette who said, "good things don't come to those who wait"? Well, he or she was WRONG! Big time!

The Globe theatre came to me! Literally! Some of the actors from the Globe are currently on tour and NYC is one of their stops. They are performing at Pace University's Schimmel Theatre from October 2nd to October 7th. The performance is open to the public. Click here for tickets and/or additional information.

The fact that the Globe was coming to my school is like eating an amazing cheesecake. However, the fact that from September 28 to September 30th, there was a FREE outdoor performance on the Pleasantville campus (which I call home) was a dang strawberry (my absolute favorite flavor) cheesecake! I was on cloud nine, I was so the end anyway.

At first, I had believed that there was only one performance on Friday, the day on which I student teach. I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I seriously contemplated ditching my precious 8th graders to attend the performance, but alas I didn't.

On Saturday afternoon, I saw a facebook post (during one of my stalker sessions) from a friend informing mutual friends that they had a chance to watch the performance on Sunday. 

"WHAT? SERIOUSLY? Why didn't you tell me?!" I exclaimed.

So, the next day, off I went for what would be the most significant experience of my literary career, life, whatever.

For three hours, I was spellbound in the world of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Despite the tiny wooden stage (that I feared would collapse at any minute), the sprinkle of rain, the unattractive ponchos, I was swept into the action and emotion of the play. I became a groundling in the Globe theatre of Shakespeare's time. It was so dang exciting!

Sitting about five to six feet from the front of the stage, the performance had a very intimate, low-key vibe that made it all the more easy for the audience to be completely sucked in. We gasped, we laughed, we shook our heads. We were appalled, disgusted, saddened.

I feel as if I don't quite have the words to describe how I felt during the performance. Only the Bard himself could come up with words to describe how amazing the performance was!

This performance did many things for me:
  • It has strengthened my love not only for Hamlet, but for all of Shakespeare's works.
  • It has further piqued my interest in theatre and plays. I want to see more!
  • It has increased my awareness of how amazing actors are and how difficult it is to play and remain in a role no matter what. Yet, at the same time knowing when to break your role to further hook your audience can be just as effective.
    • Hamlet (aka Michael Benz) made a quirky joke about us covering up, as ponchos were being handed out during the rain.
    • Another character (or actor), King Claudius, I believe, made another little joke about the Kessel cafeteria. It was funny. I laughed.
The Globe theatre's performance of Hamlet is one every lover of Shakespeare should see; definitely more than once. Perhaps even three times in a row if you're a Pace University English major!

Slideshow #1: Globe Theatre Performance of Hamlet

Slideshow#2: Globe Theatre Performance of Hamlet WITH WITTY SPEECH BUBBLES!

Video Excerpt: "To be or not to be" Soliloquy

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