How about Hamlet and Laertes settling their differences in the boxing ring? “A Thousand Natural Shocks” apparently takes the four youngest characters — Hamlet, Ophelia, Laertes and Horatio — and puts them in a contemporary setting to work out their differences and deal with the world around them. It does sound interesting, and the team behind it (who use the acronym TEAM, for Theatre of the Emerging American Movement) seem to have some points to make beyond putting the characters in silly situations:
Sieh’s Ophelia chooses, in her madness, not to focus on important political changes, but instead on consumer-ism, looking pretty and trying to make people feel happy. “It’s very easy for an American to do that. We’re taught by our president to pay no attention to ‘the man behind the curtain’. It’s the equivalent of Shakespeare’s Ophelia turning everything into flowers,” says Chavkin.
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