Monday, March 14, 2011

Hamlet in the schools

My touring production of Hamlet has been making the rounds through Philly and the surrounding counties for about two weeks now. We have two more weeks on the tour, and most of those days are booked with performances. We even have a day next week where we get to do the show twice. Which suits me fine, since we'll only have to set up and get ready once. The show itself is pretty easy for me.

I've been on enough educational tours to know that the tempers and moods of the audience will change drastically from school to school. It's part of the deal when you sign up for a tour like this, and I've never really let it bother me. When I was in a touring company with Romeo and Juliet, our Juliet was always annoyed when the students would laugh during her dramatic scenes at the end of the play. But for me, I knew it was par for the course - after all, we were performing for kids aged 14-18.

So far on this tour, we've been lucky with some good groups of students. The first audience was really into it, even cheering for Hamlet during the swordfight. The second crowd was a little more subdued at first, but we won them over eventually. The third crowd was with us right from the first moment of the play, and we were getting cheers of encouragement throughout the play. The show has enough flash to attract even the most hostile of audiences, and we have a show that really connects with the young crowds we are playing to.

We are coming up to the end of our third week, with only one more week to go. This week has been booked pretty solid, and next week we do 6 shows over 5 days. I'll post some more updates as we go along through the next week and I try to squeeze auditions and other projects around the touring schedule.

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