June 23 – July 10, 2011
“A highly stylized adaptation of Hamlet performed in Korean, Hamyul feels like a traditional drama that could have been performed in the ancient Korean court.” – nytheatre.com
Thursday – Saturday at 7:30pm
Sunday at 2:30pm
Hamyul/Hamlet is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The play is set in one of the ancient dynasties in Korea. The original Prince Hamyul, a Korean adaptation of Hamlet by William Shakespeare was presented to Western audiences in the United States and Europe in 1977. Adapted and directed by Minsoo Ahn, Prince Hamyul was the first Korean theatrical production ever performed outside Korea, making an indelible mark on the history of Korean theater thanks to the late Ellen Stewart at La MaMa.
Maintaining the basic framework and integrity of the 1977 original play, Hamyul: Hamlet has been reinterpreted and reconstructed in order to engage contemporary intellect and emotionally communicate to a 21st Century global audience by Byungkoo Ahn, who is a son of Minsoo Ahn.
This production re-examines and re-interprets the inner journey of Prince Hamyul, and manifests it into a unique theatrical ritual adapting Korean shamanic ceremonies, court dances and music with the ensemble of multi-cultural artists from Korea, Japan, and the United States.
Hamyul/Hamlet creates a kaleidoscope of characters seen through parallel and simultaneous rituals: the performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the ritual healing of Hamlet’s character and the subsequent healing of other characters. Watching this ritual will awaken the viewer’s inner Hamlet, and undergo a magical experience that confronts the question of the viewer’s own life experiences, with the hope to take a step closer to personal healing and redemption.
This hauntingly beautiful new production will give you a chance to observe the psyche of one of the most complex characters (fictional or non-fictional), and the mindscape of Korean Hamlet recreated on stage is in its purest and most austere aesthetics just as one can find in the Asian arts.