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Brooklyn's Brave New World Rep Presents HAMLET Live + Uncut

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Brooklyn's Brave New World Rep Presents HAMLET Live + Uncut

Brave New World Repertory Theatre, the Brooklyn-based theater company that performs on barge, on boardwalk, in parks, stoops, and streets, is pleased to announce a live uncut reading of Hamlet that brings together an international cast of 40 professional actors and five directors over five Mondays in June, one act per week with a different cast for each act.

The Hamlet series will be live on Zoom at 2pm EST, available to stream on the Brave New World Rep (BNW) website and then posted to Vimeo, You Tube and Facebook for four days after the live stream. Dates are June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29.

The project came together as BNW Producing Artistic Director Claire Beckman and Director Tamilla Woodard were set to begin rehearsals for a full immersive production of Hamlet at Castle William on Governors Island in May, in the works for two years.

In April after the pandemic shut down, Woodard, Beckman and actor Paul Spera (set to play the lead role) met over Zoom and all agreed that "the play's the thing," and to just start doing the work. Beckman credits Woodard with the "brilliant idea to include as many extraordinary actors as we could, especially since the shutdown had already hit our beloved community so hard and nobody had work."

They gathered over 75 actors from around the world and over three weekends in April, read and listened to the entire uncut play scene by scene stopping to analyze, discuss and interpret. Beckman says, "Our objective was never to audition actors for a performance, but to gain a deeper understanding of what is arguably the greatest play on the planet. It seemed fitting that an international cast of sheltering actors would come together from around the globe, especially in this unique moment when 'something is rotten!'"

Woodard says, "We wanted to pull together a low-stakes exploration of the play, which I called 'Hamlet Study Group.' We engaged some brilliantly different national and international theater makers who could bring divergent POVs and experiences to the text. The proposal was simply to encounter this rich work with a beginner's mind instead of trying to solve it."

Says Paul Spera, "With its questions of how we value life, how we die, how we mourn, Hamlet is even more timely than ever. And it's inspiring to hear such a diverse group of artists give collective voice to this greatest of plays.Theatre lives on, across borders, over barriers, despite quarantines."

When the study group ended, two things became clear to everyone: that cutting the play (which uncut runs close to 4 hours) does a disservice to it and the audience, and that the group wanted to keep working on it in this way. Simultaneously, many of us has the same idea: that this could be presented as a series.

At that point, Beckman offered to produce the event to stream live over five Mondays in June, with five unique casts. Everyone who had been a part of the study group was invited to continue and submit their preferred roles. "There were no auditions," Beckman says, "Cream rises and the result is an extraordinary company. Tamilla generously opened it up to four other directors in the group, and a total of 40 creatives from 18 international cities is the result. Best of all, there is no star. The Play's The Thing!"

Brave New World Rep Presents

HAMLET Uncut

June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 at 2pm EDT

Then available on BNW Rep website for 4 days following per agreement with Actors Equity and the Theater Authority

***RESERVATIONS necessary***

A FREE Benefit for BNW Rep; $10 Suggested Donation

Click here for reservation

(Actors will be compensated so donations greatly appreciated)


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