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Shakespeare Redress: Joe Papp’s Naked Hamlet 1968


Monday, January 8, 2018, 6 p.m.
There is an admission charge for this event: Free - Reservation Required
Free General Admission Ticket

Fifty years ago: the Vietnam War raged; Laugh In debuted; students protested at Howard and Harvard; Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated. In New York City, Joe Papp, the restless, young champion of free Shakespeare for all, responded to the angst of the nation with a radical reinvention of Hamlet. Papp said his “production aimed radioactive iridium 192 at the nineteenth century Hamlet statue, and by gamma ray shadowgraphing [discovered] the veins of the living original, buried under accumulated layers of reverential varnish.” Performing to a rock-score by Hair composer Galt MacDermot, all actors were, in fact, fully clothed, but the traditions and pretentions of past generations were stripped off. The Shakespeare Society excavates Naked Hamlet from archives, with an evening of re-constructed scenes, photos, rarely heard recordings, and recitations from Papp’s personal papers.

Reserve your general admission seat HERE starting December 8, 2017.

Hamlet, New York Shakespeare Festival. [1968]
Mobile Unit production of Joe Papp's Naked Hamlet. [1968]

(If you need assistance with online reservations, please visit the welcome desk at the Library for the Performing Arts' Lincoln Center Plaza entrance, where volunteers will make a reservation for you, even if you do not use email. For free events, The Library generally overbooks to ensure a full house. All registered seats are released 15 minutes before start time, so we recommend that you arrive early.)

Recommended Reading/Viewing/Listening:

1. Joe Papp : an American life

2. Free for all : Joe Papp, the public, and the greatest theater story ever told

3. Hamlet : an authoritative text, intellectual backgrounds, extracts from the sources, essays in criticism

4. William Shakespeare's "naked" Hamlet; a production handbook