Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fools For Tragedy In My Mind's Eye

A fresh deconstruction of Hamlet at the end of the summer

By Russ Bickerstaff
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A local theatre critic once suggested that Shakespeare should only really be done by trained professionals. Right. The thing is . . . there'™s a kind of universal vitality to Shakespeare that almost begs for contemporary mutation. I want to see Shakesepare done by trained professionals, yes. I also want to see Shakespeare done by trained monkeys. I want to see Shakespeare done by mannequins on live webcam. And I want to see Shakespeare done by cockroaches. (And staplers. Lots and lots of staplers.)

What with all of those old scripts being in the public domain, I want to see them as hopelessly mutated as possible in every way possible. If only because he was able to re-package all of the great plots to have come before him in a very impressive fashion, Shakespeare has made it really, really difficult for the rest of us to seem even remotely original when attempting to tell a story. So why treat the man'™s work like it's fragile? Shakespeare'™s plays are as rugged and indestructible as they come, so let's really get into it, tear it apart and see what happens.

The latest to look into a comprehensive deconstruction of classic Shakespeare comes in the form of In My Mind'™s Eye--the debut work by a group of young actors calling themselves Fools For Tragedy. The idea came about when Jordan Gwiazdowski was rehearsing monologues. He wanted another actor to work with on classic Shakespeare. He contacted fellow actor Clayton Hamburg. "œWe twisted dreams and tales of a classical theatre boot-camp," says Gwiazdowski, "Thus was born the concept of Fools for Tragedy."

FFT'™s first show--In My Mind's Eye will be an attempt to bring Hamlet down to a comfortable less than two-hour production. It will be produced on a clean stage with minimal production.

From Jordan'™s proposal: "In My Mind'™s Eye tells the story of Hamlet through the mad eyes of Hamlet. A fractured Hamlet“ if you will. A breakdown of a breakdown. The full text of the tragedy is a resounding symphony of the perils of the human condition. Our selection of the text takes exclusively from the scenes that involve the titular character and present a stylized representation of Hamlet's experience."

Hamlet is deconstructed into a number of different perspectives.

"The show will be a complex story“ simply presented," says Jordan, "œIt will be accessible,“ yet intricate. It will be totally badass too."

Cool.

Onstage talent is set to include Amber Smith, Brian Bzdawka, Liz Whitford, Kelly Doherty and more. After what is likely to be a long summer, it'™ll be fun to relax with a beer and a little post-Shakespearian mutation at the Alchemist . . .

Fools For Tragedy'™s In My Mind'™s Eye will run August 25th - 27th at the Alchemist Theatre. Funds from ticket sales will go to support Soulstice Theatre. More info will be presented as it becomes available. 


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