For those of you who have been following my theatrical endeavors, Richard III is done. Next up is Hamlet. Again! If you missed it, I posted a while ago about the 90-minute Hamlet I was a part of. The actor who played Hamlet and the director found a theatre in which to do another production… so why not?
It’s not the same, but there are similarites. Same Hamlet, same director, and two other common actors including myself. This time I’ll be playing Barnardo, Guildenstern, and First Gravedigger. The rest of the cast — I’m happy to report — are very capable, intelligent, exciting, and talented actors.
We’re taking extra time to have a better cut of the script (thank goodness!). There are plenty of changes to add lines in, take others out, taking choices from a Quarto instead of the Folio and vice versa. It’ll be a little longer, but not by much. This Hamlet will still be fast and furious.
Our new challenge is to do the show in a small space. Before we played in a wide open amphitheater for a crowd of a couple hundred. Now we play in a blackbox theater with around 40 seats. I’m very interested in the differences between the acting style needed for large vs. small spaces. Perhaps certain moments/lines/scenes play better when they are more intimate. On the other hand, quickly paced and action scenes (swordfights?) probably play much easier (and more safely) on a larger stage.
More to come on this soon. We’ve been having really great discussions in our first few table work extravaganzas, so I’ll be picking and choosing some food for thought to share with you, my esteemed readers. Stay tuned for that later this week.
Until then, I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, and comments on playing Shakespeare on a large stage vs. intimate setting. Discuss!
Posted on November 7, 2009