[podcast] Cutting Hamlet: Director Dan Hodge on adapting Shakespeare’s masterpiece for the stage

Every staged version of Hamlet is edited. Posterity left us two “authentic” written versions of William Shakespeare’s masterpiece, as well as a poorly transcribed but dramatically more coherent “foul” text. Editors of the text must choose what to use from the good quarto and folio versions, and how they want to order the scenes. As each text runs to about four hours if staged in full, directors of Hamlet must choose what to cut and how to arrange the scenes to create an accessible production.

In this podcast interview with Hedgerow Theatre Fellow Brock Vickers, director Dan Hodge discusses how he structured his version, which begins its month-long run October 23, 2014, at Hedgerow.

With previous work for Hedgerow (Macbeth), Curio (The Tempest), and PAC (The Rape of Lucrece), Hodge has established himself as perhaps the best editor of Shakespeare in Philadelphia. Hedgerow’s production is billed as the company’s “Fall Thriller” and stars both Hedgerow repertory and outside actors, including interviewer Brock Vickers, Robert Duponte, John Lopes, Jennifer Summerfield, and Jared Reed as the Dane.

Hodge says, “I did a production of Richard III for Commonwealth Classics… The highest compliment I was paid was a dear friend of mine brought her 12-year-old daughter and at the end of the performance the 12-year-old came up to me and told me how much she loved Shakespeare and how excited she was to see more.” Here’s hoping his Hamlet provokes a similar response. [Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Rd, Rose Valley, PA] October 23-November 23, 2014; hedgerowtheatre.org.

Jennifer Summerfield as Horatio and Jared Reed as the title character in Hedgerow Theatre's HAMLET. Photo by Kyle Cassidy.

Jennifer Summerfield as Horatio and Jared Reed as the title character in Hedgerow Theatre’s HAMLET. Photo by Kyle Cassidy.

 

 

 

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About the author

Christopher Munden

Your faithful correspondent and publisher Christopher Munden has written and edited for many publications, websites, and cultural institutions. He was an editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia. He's also a soccer coach and a pretty good skier.