Arts & Culture » Performance Pick

Hamlet

At Shotgun Players.

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The next production from Shotgun Players (1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley) sounds like a running joke amid theater types: “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we all learned every part in Hamlet, then didn’t find out which character we were playing until minutes before show time?” Well, that’s actually what they’re doing. Currently showing as a discounted preview until it officially opens on April 20, Shotgun Players’ rendition of the Shakespeare classic is a wacky game of “Hamlet roulette.” Five minutes before show time, the actors line up and pull their part out of a hat. Within minutes, each person is expected to be in character. What will likely ensue is a partially improvised show that may involve a few missteps. But the excitement of being put on the spot, and the hilarity of attempting such a ridiculous feat, will definitely enliven the production. Whether or not it’s the best rendition of Hamlet you’ll ever see, it will surely be an interesting experiment in theater production, likely illuminating more about the mechanisms of drama as an artistic form than the actual content of the story.

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