'Shakespeare at Yale' this week: April 9-15


Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to
you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it,
as many of your players do, I had as lief the
town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air
too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently;
for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say,
the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget
a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it
offends me to the soul to hear a robustious
periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to
very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who
for the most part are capable of nothing but
inexplicable dumbshows and noise: I would have such
a fellow whipped for o’erdoing Termagant; it
out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it.

 — “Hamlet,” Act III, scene ii

A fresh interpretation of  “Hamlet” by Yale College students, a talk and demonstration of various choreographed versions of “Romeo and Juliet,” and a talk at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library about 18th-century adaptations of Shakespeare are some of the highlights of the “Shakespear at Yale” celebration this week.



Students in Deborah Margolin’s course “The Actor and the Text: Hamlet” offer this full production of the tragedy that literary critic and Yale professor Harold Bloom cited as “the most experimental play ever written.” In this production directed by Margolin (a prize-winning playwright and performance artist in her own right), the actors are challenged to confront the text of “Hamlet” ignoring previous interpretations of the play and the historical forces that influenced Shakespeare in his day.

“The goal of our work will be to uncouple the text of ‘Hamlet’ from the play’s production history, laying bare its profound reflections … on the architecture of tragedy as it unfolds within a young man pitted by circumstance against his own nature,” say the organizers of this production. “Hamlet” will be performed at the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St., April 13–21: performance times are 8 p.m. on April 13, 14, 19 and 21; 2 p.m. on April 15; and 7 p.m. on April 20April 13 at 8 p.m.; 
 April 14 at 8 p.m
.; April 15 at 2 p.m

.; April 19 at 8 p.m.
; April 20 at 7 p.m. and 
 April 21 at  8 p.m.

“Hamlet” is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

For more information and reservations, click here.

Talk and demonstration
A Moving Story

“A Moving Story: Concert Dance Interpretations of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’”

“A Moving Story” examines the varied ways that concert dance has presented Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” over the years. The works discussed will range from the most commonly presented ballet production, choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan in 1965, to contemporary productions such as Ballet Maribor’s 2008 version set to the music of Radiohead. The talk will be illustrated by video excerpts of professional productions and by members of the Yale Ballet Company performing sections of choreography and demonstrating stylistic differences.

Free and open to the public, “A Moving Story” will take place on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14 at 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Davenport College, 248 York St.

For more information, click here.


“Appropriation vs. Interpretation: The Question of 18th-Century Shakespeare Adaptation”

As part of the Beinecke Lectures in the History of the Book, 

Jenny Davidson ’99 Ph.D. of Columbia University will give a talk on how the Bard was interpreted for 18th-century English audiences on Thursday, April 12. Davidson has published several books on 18th-century British literature and culture, most recently “Breeding: A Partial History of the 18th Century.” Free and open to the public, the talk takes place 4:30 p.m. at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 121 Wall St.

For more information, click here.

More “Shakespeare at Yale”

For information about other upcoming and ongoing activities, visit the event calendar on the “Shakespeare at Yale” home page.

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