by William Shakespeare
directed by Blanka Zizka
March 25, 2015May 2, 2015



Wilma One Question: James Haskins, Managing Director

From time to time, we like to ask actors, designers, and members of the Wilma Staff a single question.

For Hamlet, we asked our Managing Director (and former actor!) - WHAT IS YOUR HAMLET STORY?

James Haskins - In my former life as an actor, my first foray into a full production of a play by Shakespeare was as Laertes in a college production of Hamlet (Pictured, James Haskins center). I recall the first read-through of the play just before winter break. We had not yet spent any time with the script and I had no clue what I was saying to Ophelia: “…your chaste treasure open to his unmaster’d importunity.” What? We were asked to memorize our roles during winter break and be prepared to begin rehearsals without our scripts. And this was to be a production with very few cuts that ultimately ran more than four hours. What had I gotten myself into?


Q1 and the Meanings of Hamlet

Join us after the Matinee Performance on May 2 for a special Extension Event!

In 1823, a nobleman found a strange document in the closet of the family estate: a version of Hamlet which pre-dated the two versions scholars and performers had been using for a century, which differed radically from those versions in both plot structure and language. Q1, as the text is known, has been declared a rough draft, a piracy, and a pre-Shakespearean "ur-Hamlet," among other things.

Q1 had a large influence on the Wilma Theater’s cutting of Hamlet. In his recent book, “Hamlet After Q1,” UPenn scholar Zachary Lesser examines how the improbable discovery of Q1 has forced readers to reconsider accepted truths about Shakespeare as an author and about the nature of Shakespeare's texts and offers new insights on what we think we mean by Hamlet.


Hamlet in Sound and Music

To create a soundscape fitting for Shakespeare's greatest play, the Wilma has teamed up with the electronic duo Games Violet to compose orginal music and sound. Games Violet is comprised of Irish composers Alex Games and Emma Violet; two newcomers to the Wilma's design collaborators. Emma gave us a sneak-peek at some of the music you will hear during the show!