HAMLESS: Hamlet Without Hamlet

By William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Erin Nealer

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, edited to remove the title character entirely. King Claudius and Queen Gertrude, the Danish courtiers, and the Norwegian invaders time to speak their minds about the Prince – and each other. They struggle to keep the peace within the Danish court, avoid a war with Norway, and quell a rebellion, all while tiptoeing around young Hamlet’s increasingly unstable moods.


Performances

March 12, 13, 19, 20 at 8PM EDT
March 14 & 21 2PM EDT
2021

From the Director:

This past year has been so full of disconnection, depression, and distrust — I couldn’t bring myself to add to our collective malaise by introducing audiences to the moody, volatile Prince Hamlet. The character leads the audience – and the rest of the Danish court – by the hand to his bleak point of view. This led me to question: What would happen to the play if I cut out Hamlet’s presence entirely? What would remain?

To my delight, a whole new play emerged from this exercise – one bursting with political intrigue, gossip, and poetry that’s often cut in a more traditional version of Hamlet. Without Hamlet’s constant editorializing, the remaining characters can speak for themselves. The cast worked to peel back layers of preconceptions around these famous roles, and we spent rehearsals focused on their own actions and words instead of experiencing the show through Hamlet’s jaded, dispassionate lens.

If this is your first or hundredth introduction to Shakespeare’s work, I hope the audience can use “Hamless” as an opportunity to meet these characters afresh and find some new connections in a familiar story.

Cast

ClaudiusJacqueline Youm
GertrudeJaki Demarest
LaertesAllison McAlister
PoloniusJustin Bigelow
OpheliaLexi Stein
Voltimand/Player PoisonerEve La Puma
HoratioRenee Namakau Ombaba
Rosencrantz/FortinbrasClaudia Bach
Guildenstern/Player QueenMichael Angeloni
Captain/Player KingMikki Barry

Crew

DirectorErin Nealer
Stage ManagerMegan Parlett
ZoominematographerAlan Duda
DramaturgTiffany M. Waters
SoundMegan Parlett
ProducerJoshua Engel
PublicityWes Dennis

Reviews

Greenbelt News Review

MD Theatre Guide

Talk Back

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