Just two months before Paul Giamatti takes the Yale Repertory Theatre stage as Hamlet, audiences at the Yale Cabaret on Tuesday will get to see a very different rendition of the classic play, one performed in Farsi and just 30 minutes long.
In “Hamlet, Prince of Grief,” by Mohammad Charmshir, a single actor incorporates household objects and children’s toys into a condensed and emotional interpretation of the doomed Danish prince’s end. The show is directed by Iranian native Mohammad Aghebati DRA ’13 — a member of the prestigious Iranian Leev Theater Group — who is at the School of Drama as a special research fellow this school year.
“This may be Mohammad’s only chance to publicly share his work with the community while he’s here, so we were eager to take advantage of it,” said the Yale Cabaret’s managing director Jonathan Wemette DRA ’13 to the News. Wemette added that the show has generated a lot of buzz among both the School of Drama and the New Haven community, with reservations for both shows filled up several days in advance of tonight’s 8 and 10 p.m. showings.
The Cabaret is hosting two open rehearsals of the play prior to its appearance in the renowned Under the Radar Festival, which is hosted by the nonprofit organization Public Theater based in New York City. “Hamlet, Prince of Grief” had to be organized with special permission and support from the School of Drama, since it takes place outside of the Cabaret’s mandated 18-performance season.
This will not be the School of Drama’s only appearance in Under the Radar, which annually showcases avant-garde theater from around the world: The festival will also feature “Hollow Roots,” a one-woman show by Christina Anderson DRA ’11 and directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz DRA ’12. The Under the Radar Festival will run from Jan. 9-20.