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Interview: David Wenzel Talks HAMLET/HORATIO

Hamlet/Horatio’s producer talks about the process of the new film

Interview: David Wenzel Talks HAMLET/HORATIO

The new film, Hamlet/Horatio, held its first public screening at New York City's Chain Theatre last weekend. The film tells the story of Hamlet through the eyes of Horatio, providing a fresh perspective on a timeless classic. We spoke with Hamlet/Horatio's producer, David Wenzel about the film's creation, storyline, and the power of creative collaboration.

Hamlet/Horatio is a 20-year collaboration of film professionals celebrating "the power of love to transcend corruption and evil." Can you tell us more about the process behind making this film?

It started in 2000 when I was cast to play the role of Hamlet off-Broadway at The Waterloo Bridge Theatre (which is no longer in existence.) It was a short six performance run and I felt I could have explored more with the role. From there, I contacted my colleague David Vando and we started working on a draft with the focus being on the friendship of Hamlet and Horatio. I always felt that Hamlet would have ended up going mad like Ophelia if he did not have Horatio as a springboard for his concerns. David and I ended up doing eight different productions with different interpretations. We felt that it had ran its course on the stage and was time to develop a film based on the experimental process of the stage performances that were well received onstage.

Why was it important for you to tell Hamlet's story through Horatio?

It grounds the story and establishes the brotherly love and spiritual aspects of the characters. To me, it is the glue that ties everything together.

How did you find the other creative professionals to work with on this project? Did you work together in the past?

David Vando found me at a modeling/acting convention and offered me an opportunity to work with him if I ever decided to move to New York City and pursue an acting career. So, I moved to the city and started studying at New York Conservatory. On the weekends, I'd work with David on such plays as, The Glass Menagerie, Long Days Journey into Night, and several Shakespeare plays. David and I had established a trust and creative working relationship.

You've stated that Hamlet/Horatio was created to help make Shakespeare more relatable to a newer audience. Why was that?

We knew that main audiences were usually not that accepting of Shakespeare. We felt most people had bad experiences of being taught the text in school and missing the entertaining and life lessons that Shakespeare plays bring to the table. We have always wanted to make it more accessible to all audiences and remove the stigma of Shakespeare.

Interview: David Wenzel Talks HAMLET/HORATIO

What's it like to have this premiere come out as the city begins to reopen from the pandemic?

It's so hard to explain the feeling of seeing the film come together on the big screen in front of a live audience. The journey of this film reflects the struggles that everyone went through during this horrible time, and to be able to focus on something to keep our creative soul and well-being intact.

How has it been like for you as a creative in the film industry working during these strange times?

It represents the ultimate conflict of overcoming major obstacles to achieve something great out of such a negative and depressing time. All actors understand struggle and rejection, and use their creative will to overcome ("to thine own self be true").

What do you have planned for future projects? Anything you can share with us?

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to have met and worked with David Vando, and our director Paul Warner. I am also extremely grateful to have been able to work and learn from the likes of Brad Pitt, Gordon Willis, Alan Pakula, Coen Brothers, and Anthony Hopkins to name a few. I may not have become a household name, but I have been extremely blessed to continue to work as an actor and producer, and give back what I have learned to others. I have several other projects in development and look forward to moving ahead as we move out of this pandemic.

For more information on how to stream Hamlet/Horatio please visit here.

(Photos courtesy of and MarketersMedia)

From This Author - Carissa Chesanek

Carissa Chesanek has worked as a journalist for many years, writing for publications that include BroadwayWorldShow-Score, All About Solo, The Rumpus, Miami... (read more about this author)

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