Whenever I see a production of Hamlet, I am newly floored by its impact on language, no matter how many times you tell yourself that a lot of our spoken language is in this play, you're freshly assaulted by how many things people say all the time that come from Hamlet. It's crazy.
But then there are all sorts of questions about staging Hamlet. There can be, and there have been many theories about what to emphasize in the play. Themes of sex, politics, indecision, suicide, and reality testing are either brought to the fore, or pushed to the back. No matter what happens on the stage, it's a really, really good story.
Today The Colin McEnroe Show brings together Shakespeare scholar Humphrey Tonkin; Tony-winner Darko Trenjak who is currently running the show at Hartford Stage; acclaimed actress Diane Venora (the first high-profile female Hamlet, in a legendary Joe Papp production); and others for a deep dive into the turrets of Elsinore.
Listen to the full version of our fascinating conversation with actress Diane Venora about how she felt playing the role of Hamlet:
Listen to the collection of voices during intermission during Hartford Stage's "Hamlet", collected and edited by Josh Nilaya:
Why does Hamlet still matter to you? Comment below, email Colin@wnpr.org, or tweet @wnprcolin.
- Darko Tresnjak is the Tony Award-winning Artistic Director of Hartford Stage
- James Shapiro is a Professor of English at Columbia University, and author of many books, including A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599
- Humphrey Tonkin is a professor of English and president emeritus of the University of Hartford
- Diane Venora is an actress who appeared in many films, including Joseph Papp’s Hamlet
- "Hamlet, The Music Video" by Laurence Campling
- "To Be or Not To Be" by Hamlet the Musical
- "Mad Hamlet" by The Tiger Lillies