Playwriting Teaching Drama

Hamlet In Prison


Hamlet itself is kind of a weird play. The central character is in a situation that very few of us are ever going to find ourselves in. His uncle killed his father and then married his mother in order to become the king. The play is four hours long. The main conflict of the play is a guy debating in long, complicated monologues whether or not he should kill somebody. What is there in that for most of us to relate to? Unless, of course, we happen to be murderers. And what would the play be like if it were performed by murderers and other violent criminals? What would they see that the rest of us do not?

Set aside some time and listen to this awesome documentary about a prison production of Hamlet.

Here’s a great analysis of Horatio by actor “Big Hutch.”

I think he’s a chump, for real. I mean, he’s supposed to be cool with Hamlet. I think Horatio is just a sounding board for Hamlet. I mean, the majority of his lines is, “Ay, my lord” “Yes, my lord.” I mean, if we’re friends we’re gonna communicate better than that. I mean, you gonna tell me your deepest secrets. I wanta know what you and Ophelia did last night! Show me that I’m truly Hamlet’s friend. Don’t wait till I get to the end of Act Five and I’m getting ready to drink a cup of poison and you stop me. Let me know down the line, man, that I’m really your friend.

The group that is responsible for this production is Prison Performing Arts. Looks like an amazing organization.

About the author

Craig Mason