are delayed a week. First time in 24 years.
Drilling Company, Hamilton Clancy Artistic Director, will
present "Hamlet," directed by Karla Hendrick and
starring Jane Bradley, for its 2018 Shakespeare in the Parking
Lot production. Free performances, originally scheduled
for July 12 to 28, will be presented July 19 to 28 in the
Parking Lot of The Clemente, 114 Norfolk Street (E. side
of Norfolk St. between Delancey and Rivington).
first week's performances had to be foregone due to an unfortunate
miscommunication. Fortunately, the executive leadership
of The Clemente stepped in and resolved the impasse with
The Drilling Company and Shakespeare in the Parking Lot
was able to live on.
Drilling Company extends special thanks to Community Board
3, Tim Laughlin (President of the of Lower East Side Partnership
and member of Board of The Clemente), Baltasar Beckeld (Interim
Executive Director of The Clemente), and Marian Guerra and
members of the staff of City Councilmember Margaret Chin
for their leadership and timely efforts in effecting the
Drilling Company is also grateful to Kay Webster (President
of Roosevelt Park Coalition) and the NYC Parks Department
for their efforts in planning for a fallback location. Their
interest and efforts have provided a framework for possible
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot performances in City parks
directed by Karla Hendrick
with Jane Bradley as Hamlet
July 19 - 28, 2018
|Jane Bradley as Hamlet. Photo by Lily el
Drilling Company, Hamilton Clancy Artistic Director, will present
"Hamlet," directed by Karla Hendrick and starring Jane
Bradley, for its 2018 Shakespeare in the Parking Lot production.
our knowledge and research, we are the first major New York outdoor
stage company to offer a production with a female Hamlet. Unlike
the well-known cross-gender castings of the masterpiece (from
Sarah Siddons to Sarah Bernhardt to Maxine Peake), this one is
not a woman playing a man: the title character is a feminine Princess
of Denmark, whose tragedy is meant to explore when happens when
you inject female power into a chaotic and confused world.
Hendrick will stage the character as a modern young woman of intelligence
and wisdom. This Hamlet, clad in skirts, is rendered powerless
when her uncle, Claudius, inserts himself into the line of succession
and thrusts her aside. Determined and noble, she is someone who
would take control through heart and with strength, but her conscience
is a paralyzing force; moreover, she finds herself continuously
isolated and betrayed by those closest to her and this impacts
her ability to function. The play will be cut to a little over
two hours to give the feeling of a world speeding out of control
around her. The audience is challenged to consider whether the
ascendancy of a female ruler could have wrought a better Denmark.
and Guildenstern will both be women and Polonius will become Polonia,
a mother. Hamlet's relationship with Ophelia will be a lesbian
love affair. Laertes will remain a man and the duel at the play's
end will be a sword fight in which Hamlet's intelligence and wit
are evenly matched against Laertes' brawn.
Winchester (L) as Ophelia and Jane Bradley (R) as the Princess
of Denmark. Photo by Lily el Naccash.
regulars will recognize Jane Bradley from her appearances in "As
You Like It," "Twelfth Night," "The Merchant
of Venice" and "Othello." Drilling Company fans
will also recall her as Susan in "Gabriel: A Polemic"
by C. Denby Swanson last fall at North of History. In "As
You Like It" (2015), she earned high praise from the New
York Times (Ken Jaworowski), who called her "marvelous as
Rosalind, heightening the humor with clever gestures and speaking
the speech remarkably well, even over the din of nearby street
noise. Her scenes with the fool Touchstone...and her would-be
beau, Orlando...are wonderful by any standard." When the
production was revived for Bryant Park Shakespeare the next year,
Front Row Center (Donna Herman) called her a "stunning Rosalind"
whose "handling of Shakespeare's language is perfect"
and who "transforms herself physically into the man Ganymede
with just the right touch--we believe she could fool without forgetting
who she is." In 2014, reviewing her as Emilia in "Othello,"
The Times' Ken Jaworowski declared, "Ms. Bradley, in particular,
stands out in her valiant closing scene." In 2017, NY Theatre
Wire's Beate Hein Bennet, reviewing her in "Gabriel:A Polemic,"
praised her "bravura performance" writing, "Jane
Bradley imbues Susan with a sharp tongue that slices the air like
a rapier as she presents her challenge from the outset: 'Is there
free will?' Her energy never falters as she dominates the argument."
is Associate Artistic Director of The Drilling Company and has
directed its production of "Twelfth Night" for Bryant
Park Shakespeare. She relates she was originally daunted by the
challenge of playing Hamlet, but now realizes that the role is
totally open to interpretation. She muses, "The big task
is to remain honest and make discoveries, to bring yourself to
the role as much as possible."
Hendrick made her Parking Lot directorial debut last season with
"All's Well That Ends Well" and is now one of the company's
core directors. She is also one of The Drilling Company's most
accomplished actresses. For her performance as Betty in "The
Norwegians" by C. Denby Swanson, she was cited by The New
York Times as one of the Top 25 Quirky and Magical Moments in
Theater of 2013. Her other significant roles in the company include
the Woyzeck character's psychiatrist in "Reservoir"
by Eric Henry Sanders and her performances in both the Parking
Lot and Bryant Park in "Hamlet" (Gertrude) and "The
Merry Wives of Windsor" (Mistress Ford). She earned a BA
in Theater Arts from Mount Holyoke, attended the British American
Drama Academy, Oxford and earned an MFA from Brooklyn College.
She is a Master Teaching Artist at the Roundabout Theatre Company.
Winchester as Ophelia. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
on Maxine Peake's Hamlet (in theater in 2014, on film in 2016),
English critics have recounted the tradition of women performing
Hamlet, from Sarah Siddons in 1777 to many Victorian actresses,
amateur and professional. Sarah Bernhardt, the first actress to
be filmed in the part, declared it should always be performed
by a woman. Female Hamlets declined during the supposedly feminist
20th century and critics speculated this might have been due to
the rise in importance of star directors, who until recently were
predominantly male. Cross-gender casting has traditionally made
Hamlet a choice role for women over 40, but the interpretation
of Hamlet as a real woman is rare, even in our time. "Clearly
the time is ripe for a female-directed Hamlet with a female lead.
The character ultimately is Shakespeare’s greatest 'every
person' " said Hamilton Clancy, Artistic Director of The
Drilling Company and Shakespeare in the Parking Lot.
The cast includes
Bob Arcaro* as Claudius, Bill Green* as Ghost, Una Clancy as Gertrude,
Adam Huff* as Laertes, Elowyn Castle* as Polonia, Gracie Winchester*
as Ophelia, Ayo Oneke Cummings as Horatio, Aly Talley Byatt as
Rosencrantz, Lulu Fairclough-Stewart as Guildensternb, Dan Teachout*
as Player King, Kendra Lee Oberhauser* as Player Queen, Maggie
Rothberg as Lucianus and Colleen Cosgrove as Gravedigger.
Director is Dave Marantz. Set Designer is Jennifer Varbalow. Fight
Choreographer is Brad Frost. Stage Manager is Whitney Rich. Company
Manager is Jaquawn Turner. Light Coordinator is Margo Tillstrom.
member, Actor's Equity Assn.
A PARKING LOT?
"It is a tremendously accessible gathering place in the heart
of the city. Like most companies that do Shakespeare we are following
the spirit of Joseph Papp. But putting our own spin on it by placing
it in a parking lot, making an urban wrinkle," says founding
artistic director Hamilton Clancy. Shows are offered while the
lot is in use. The action sometimes happens around a parked car
which drives away during a performance. At such times, the players
stop and the audience moves its chairs, pausing the performance
the same way a show would stop for rain uptown in Central Park.
It's all part of the fun.
in the Parking Lot was begun in 1995 by Expanded Arts under the
artistic direction of Jennifer Spahr. When Ms. Spahr retired in
2000, an organization known as Ludlow Ten was formed under the
direction of Leonard McKenzie. The Drilling Company began co-producing
SITPL with Ludlow Ten in 2001. After Mr. McKenzie's retirement
in 2005, The Drilling Company was asked to continue the great
tradition of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot. The attraction has
been staged at The Clemente, 114 Norfolk Street, from 2015 to
Shows in the Parking Lot
DO I GO
TO SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT?
are at: Parking Lot of The Clemente, 114 Norfolk Street (E.
side of Norfolk St. between Delancey and Rivington).
* Shows are Thursdays through Saturdays at 6:30 PM
and admission is FREE.
* Seats are available on a first come first served basis, with
audience members often arriving early to secure a place. You
are welcome to bring your own chair. Once seats are gone, blankets
are spread out.
* We've never turned anyone away and there's never a wait for
to The Clemente: F to Delancey Street, M to Essex Street. MAP
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot