Hamlet: Dissemination

We closed on Sunday. 

The set has been broken down, the costumes are in bags in my car awaiting a wash.

The leftover programs are stashed in a file.

I relaxed, I celebrated, I glowed, I basked in the finale of two years of hard work.

And then I crashed.

On Tuesday night.

Dissemination takes time.

So although the goop is out of my hair and the last of the mascara has been wiped away, I left on the nail polish.  Call me superstitious, but I can’t take it off yet.  Not yet.

So I’ve left it on. For now.

To remind me of the day I found out I’d be wearing black polish and how much I disliked the idea, but kept my trap shut, painted it on anyways, and discovered I liked it quite well.

To remind me of the smell of the basement in Lowell which was sweetly relieved by the scent of Gertrude’s own shiny polish application.

To remind me of Claudius’ elegantly and perfectly shaped feminine nails being coated quickly and diligently before each show, or so it seemed to me.

To remind me of the look on Gertrude’s face behind my hand as I held up a tiny portrait.  And the smell of Ophelia’s hair as I tried to carefully swung her around and shout at the top of her head, my nails flickering at me as they encircled her slender arms.

To remind me of those damn curtains which never landed right in fight call, but always placed themselves perfectly in performance regardless of how I grabbed them.

To remind me that the end of a project is really just the beginning of another.

Because dissemination takes time.  And I’m not quite sure I’m ready to let go.


Hamlet: Re-Tech in Somerville

Hamlet: Spending Time

On these, my first three days off from Hamlet, I had a little respite from:

  • Waking up to lines running through my head
  • Listening to my “Hamlet-anthem” way too loud and way too many times in a row
  • Wondering if my legs and stomach could possibly be any more tired
  • Getting another line note, and another, and another, and then messing them up anyways
  • Saying goodbye, again, to my 3 year old daughter, and reassuring her I would see her, again, tomorrow

I spent three days:

  • Going to bed before the sun and waking up far after she had risen
  • Eating. Eating. Eating.
  • Waking up not to lines, but to my child, snuggled up in the curve of my side, shoving her face up against mine for more kisses

Yesterday, on the fourth day:

  • I woke up to the lines in my head.  Anticipating the return to the stage.  Nervous I’d lost some in the few days since I uttered their famous syllables.  Hoping that maybe time and space would make it easier to remember them.

This morning, on the fifth day, the day when I get to return to the theatre:

  • I woke up wondering how five days could pass so fast, and being thankful that they did.
  • This experience is far more than rehearsals, lines, packing dinner, saying farewell/hello, it’s about being a part of something larger.  It’s about watching a cast of phenomenally talented women prepare, knowing I get to look each of them in the eye on stage.  It’s about an audience, watching, listening, learning, thinking.  It’s about bringing opportunity to life.
  • I love it.

Field Trip!

Hamlet, Ophelia, Laertes and their ever-supportive stage manager, Samson, went on a field trip today to Girls, Inc. of Lowell.

In under an hour they covered warm-ups, bodies, voices, games, Shakespeare, history, scenes, love, and sword play.

As one girl of around 9 years put it “[Shakespeare is like] learning new things everyday and not even knowing it.”

Sneak Preview: Graveside Fight Rehearsal

Becky W. (Horatio) takes you to fight rehearsal.

Hamlet: Thinking Too Precisely

I awoke this morning.

Like a block of lead.

Tonight’s our last rehearsal.

I, as usual, had lines running through my head even before I realized I was no longer dreaming:

“Whether it be beastial oblivion, or thinking to precisely on the act: a thought which, when quartered is but one part wisdom and ever three parts coward…”

It is only now, as we inch our way towards opening and I dream of the night I will perform knowing exactly what my intention is on every single line, that I begin to understand why it is this play can enrapture so many imaginations.

Stand each scene on its own, indeed, stand each line on its own, and it carries the weight of the world.  An entire story in a singular interchange.

Put them all together, line them up like little ducklings headed for slaughter, and a world beyond takes flight.  At the center of the storm, self-involved, self-righteous, foolish, prideful, loving, powerful, people.  And along the edge, dutifully and honorably flitting in and among the scattering detritus are the truly wise.  If only the loud and powerful would take the time to see them.  If only the wise would open their mouths to speak a little louder.  If only our own soliloquies would work their magic as swiftly as these.

It is our world.  Magnified.  Intensified. Revealing what, perhaps, we would rather keep secret.  Our shames.  Our desires.  Our fears.

Hamlet: I have a muscle there?

It began with my shaky legs from lunging with swords and outfacing people at graves.

It wasn’t long before I had sore arms from grabbing people left and right.

After some additional grave outfacing, my tummy felt like it had faced several hundred rounds of crunches.

And then I spied the ghost, and man my neck hurts.

Not to mention the ol’ memory muscle.

I do believe that, by the time we open, I will have become reacquainted with every under-used muscle I never knew I had.