hamlet as performed by violent criminals

driving back from the outer banks this summer, i happened upon this american life on npr doing a piece about hamlet. they began by playing snippets of lines from various performances around the country.

ira glass wondered how any of us, or any of the actors performing hamlet relate to the plot. hamlet’s uncle kills hamlet’s father, the king, and marries his mother, thus becoming the king. the whole play revolves around hamlet agonizing over whether he should kill his uncle to avenge his father. or not.

ira asks, “what would the play be like if it were performed by murderers and other violent criminals, what would they see that the rest of us do not?”

the program takes place during six months in a prison in st. louis, from the first rehersal to the final production of act v of hamlet, as performed by a cast of inmates.



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