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.
September 14, 2013
“Griffin and I had our second chat today about Hamlet. We focused on where Hamlet is before the play. And there’s kind of two parts to that – who he is before his father dies, and who he is after. Most of our talk had to do with relationships.
Some of the interesting things we discussed – Hamlet and his father are two totally different kinds of people. King Hamlet is a Nordic warrior king. Prince Hamlet has chosen the intellectual path, and dad probably doesn’t know what to do with that.
A possible backstory for the Ophelia relationship is that Hamlet and Ophelia were always close growing up, there was always some kind of connection. When Hamlet returns grieving his father’s death, perhaps the depth of his feelings drive him to Ophelia for comfort and connection – particularly when everything else is going horribly wrong (uh, my mom has married my uncle???).
Finally, we tackled the question of Hamlet’s madness – a question we’ll keep coming back to again and again. I put on the table the possibility (and this is based on something I read in Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World) that in the intensity of his reactions to his father’s death and his mother’s wedding, he starts to lose it slightly. Perhaps Hamlet already fears he is going slightly mad. So, after his father’s ghost tells him to seek revenge, almost the first thing he does when his friends come back is say, “Hey, if I start acting slightly crazy, it’s all part of my plan.” Maybe he uses the disguise of madness to cover his own fears of going mad.”
“This past weekend David and I had our second meeting regarding the beast that is Hamlet.
We started talking about the important relationships in the play. Where they may have been before the play, how they are at the start and where they evolve to. And how each one is important to Hamlet’s journey.
We also discussed the why’s. The biggest one being, why do this play?
Why do this play now, in Delaware, in what will be 2014, etc. And why do we personally want to do it.
For me, the world is a little crazy presently. I live in Philadelphia. With the education system in Philadelphia being so traumatized, the economy being off-kilter, one could view the world quite pessimistically. Us Gen “Y”ers, according to many sources, think we’ve had the rug pulled out from under us.
Now, I don’t personally feel that. I feel I live in the world I live in, and I make my choices based on what I love and care about. I have to strive for that. Is it always pretty? No. Now Hamlet pretty much has his wall-to-wall carpet ripped out from beneath him. I think in the world in which we live that is a very relatable experience. One that audiences can feel for and get behind. Action. We can’t sit around and let the world come to us. And Hamlet cannot either.
Until next time.”