How to Hamlet

after William Shakespeare

Conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski

March 30th - April 14th, 2017 at HERE Arts Center

Four "audience members" are unwittingly tasked with staging Hamlet. But can they withstand the historical weight of the most well known play in the English language? As they confront their own artistic anxieties they unexpectedly conjure up the ghosts of Hamlets past, dragging themselves deeper down the rabbit hole of theatrical history. Shakespeare's words swirl around them, but are never quite within their grasp. Ultimately, their struggle gives way to a meta-theatrical meditation on the Bard's most famous work.

How to Hamlet was presented March 30th - April 14th, 2017 at HERE Arts Center. Created and produced by Theater Reconstruction Ensemble. Conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski, with Kurzynowski and Jon Riddleberger serving as co-performance writers. Associate direction by Lauren Swan-Potras. Performed by Nathaniel Basch-GouldSam CorbinJoshua William Gelb, and Emily Marro. Designed by Marika Kent and Kate Marvin. Photos by Suzi Sadler. Video by ZANNI Productions.


"How to Hamlet is another strange and clever creation from Theater Reconstruction Ensemble. One of TRE’s greatest distinctions as a New York company (in my opinion) is that they are always playing onstage. No one takes themselves too seriously; no one is concerned with looking pretty. TRE’s production offers a refreshingly original take on Hamlet, truly playing with the text and themes, rather than maintaining any sort of reverential attitude towards it. Don’t mistake this levity for lack of integrity, though. True to their name, TRE interrogates the theatrical form itself with their work."

Culturebot response


"Performed with everything from gleeful buffoonery to seriously Elizabethan emoting to sheer panic, Theater Reconstruction Ensemble’s How to Hamlet is an intense, 70-minute whirlwind that lampoons, lionizes, psychoanalyzes and rationalizes the countless thespians and academics who’ve put their stamp, for better or worse, on the circa 1600 tale of a melancholy Dane undone by poisonous acts. Just as that title character is willing to throw the kitchen sink at his vow to avenge dear old dead dad, TRE pulls out all the stops while staying mission-focused on its quest to make sense of things."

The Villager Response