Audience favorite Griffin Stanton-Ameisen will play Hamlet for DSF in 2014 and Artistic Director David Stradley will direct the production. Once a month, Griffin and David will be getting together to talk about the play, the character, and all sorts of other things. They’ve agreed to share a short “journal entry” with DSF after each meeting.
August 16, 2013
“David and I sat down for our first of what will be many meetings discussing Hamlet. It was thoughtful, invigorating and, as it should be, challenging. I am so thrilled/terrified to begin this journey, and to begin it so early on is a privilege. We discussed important themes, reasons for doing this play at this time and place in the world, and many other things.
I am very interested in Hamlet’s understanding and/or difficulty with the ideas of life and death and madness, among others. Does Hamlet ever actually go mad himself, or is it solely an act? Presently, I am interested in it always being a device that he uses to further his investigation and that it never actually engulfs him. Will this change? Most likely.
David said he has read critics that believe Hamlet does not actually love anyone in this play. For me, that has no legitimacy. If he does not love his father, why we would he care to go on this life or death crusade? If he does not love Ophelia what is her purpose is this story? If he does not whole-heartedly love his mother, why would her actions drive him as they do? All of these questions are what drives me in understanding this immensely powerful story.
And David and I are both interested in making this an engrossing, entertaining show for the DSF audiences. We have talked about how that can be fueled by Hamlet’s connection with the audience.
This is just the beginning….stay tuned!”
“Griffin and I met today to start talking about Hamlet. It’s so wonderful to be able to start trying to work our way through this play this early. We’ll take all the time we can get. Today, we just shared our big questions about the play and things we are really interested in exploring in the play.
For me the big question is, ‘What does Hamlet spend the play desperately trying to figure out?’ My gut says it goes way beyond, ‘Should I or shouldn’t I kill my uncle?’ or ‘To be or not to be?’ The closest I can come at this point is that Hamlet spends the play trying to figure out how ‘to be’ under the weight of all the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ and the ‘whips and scorns of time.’ He keeps going and keeps trying to figure things out.
Some of the things I’m really interested in are having the soliloquies really connect with the audience. Griffin has done such a great job building a relationship with the DSF audience over the last three years. I can’t wait to see him have these conversations with the audience during the soliloquies. I also really want to give the audience that ‘noooooo!!!!’ feeling when Hamlet dies at the end–that gut-wrenching sadness that comes because we know he could have accomplished so many great things during his life.
Finally, I’m really interested in exploring how to have our audience experience the play as a great piece of entertainment.
Those are some great questions to start with!”