Q1: The Bad Hamlet

Written by: William Shakespeare
Directed by: Cynthia Dillon
Presented by: Dillon/Schafer at the Pretentious Festival

By Josh Sherman

.... 1: The Bad Hamlet is regarded as either an early draft or a pirated script of arguably Shakespeare's most famous work. This quarto, unlike the most well-known version which is the folio, is stuffed with printing errors and omissions and is far less poetic than the traditionally produced Hamlet. It's also a heck of a lot shorter, and some historians go so far as to suggest that the First Quarto was meant to be a tab version or a touring version of the play......

Gabriele Schafer (another co-producer) is phenomenal as both Gertrude and the Ghost, whose facial contortions are truly disturbing and somewhat shocking. The remainder of the cast, with Robert Josef as Horatio/First Player, Anthony Bagnetto as Laertes, Thomas Poarch as "King" [aka Claudius], and Alyssa Mann as Ofelia/Rossencraft. Excellent fight choreography from Al Foote III rounds out this terrific production of Q1: The Bad Hamlet.

By Trav S.D.

I am luridly expectant at the prospect of seeing “What She Knew” — playwright and critic George Hunka’s retelling of “Oedipus Rex” from Jocasta’s point of view. In this production, the “First of the Red Hot Mamas” will be played by Gabriele Schafer. Schafer is best known as one half of the company Thieves Theatre, which she ran for many years with her husband Nick Fracaro, and was most notorious for a theatre piece they did in the early 90s in which they lived in a teepee at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge for several months. More recently, I saw Schafer play both Hamlet’s father and mother in a Butoh-influenced version of the Shakespeare play (“Q1: The Bad Hamlet” — produced by New World Theatre). The hair-raising performances I saw makes me to think there couldn’t be a better person to do an “erotically transgressive” one-woman show about Oedipus’s mother. The production is under the rubric of Hunka’s company, Theatre Minima, and will be playing at Manhattan Theatre Source, December 1-11.