As I mentioned in the previous entry, Ophelia is the key to my monologues and stories on the 'women in my life'. I did not know she was such a controversial character, the debate and metaphor of her character runs long and deep. The debate over her drowning is rampant, whether suicide or accident, (I think some of both), and there is also some text that suggests she may have been pregnant. I also found out that when Hamlet tells her to "get thee to a nunnery..." he was referring her to a brothel, which 'nunnery', was a slang term from the day. In other words, He called her a 'whore', which is a part of the mystery of the sub--text. Earlier tonight, I went over the ghost scenes again, and found new things in Hamlet's encounter with his father's spirit, as I find new things with my own father's spirit.
Today was also the passing of one of the world's greatest playwrights, Harold Pinter. I will never forget seeing 'The Birthday Party' at Phoenix Theatre so many years ago. He made his mark in the theatre in many ways, one, taking sub-text, (the thoughts, actions, and motives beneath the text) to new extremes. He wrote many short lines, that actors were asked to find the actions between them for sometimes a full minute. Seemingly, some of his lines didn't go together, but he really knew what he was doing. He asked actors to show what they were thinking instead of telling. I wrote a short play after I saw 'The Birthday Party', that was produced at ASU, called 'Jim and Bob'. My professor called it 'Pinteresque', as many other plays were poor imitations of what he did. He wrote highly original plays, and was a champion of human rights. Later, his plays became deeply political. He made a difference. As in many things we do in life, we start by imitating, until we find our own voice. He had a masterful voice, of which, with his body of plays, will never be silenced. Hasta la vista, Mr. Pinter.
I finally feel I have enough source material to tackle some of the roughest parts of the script again. Using the Shakespearian overlay is risky, but most plays are hybrids of voices, language, and forms. Sam Shepard put cowboys into existential plays, and had his characters speaking in a hybrid of western language and John Paul Sartre. Tennessee Williams put lyrical poetry into the mouths of common southerners and brutes. Tony Kushner put the language of God into the mouths of dying gay men. I'll put Shakespeare into the mouth of a bohemian cowboy. I'll make the ghost of Hamlet's father my own. I'll make Ophelia the perfect woman. I'll let the madness of Hamlet perpetuate my own youth. Sound challenging? It will be and it is!
This next week, I have to also start generating copy for the post card, and find an image. I was going to use a picture of my mother and father, but I think I'm going to look for an image of a cowboy with either a suitcase or a bag. Maybe a cowboy in a pick-up truck heading down a highway. Maybe something in the desert. Any ideas or images you have? Send them my way, RShurtz57@gmail.com. I'll give you a credit if I use your image. I also have to start working on the announcement of the play, and the press release for the play. This is usually a combination of a resume and a compelling synopsis of the play. I find that I like to do this kind of work. Its challenging to come up with something that when someone sees it, they don't want to miss it. This is considered the work of the publicist, but often in theatre it becomes the job of the producer. I talked to Cheryl tonight in Utah, and I will work with her on getting it right. So, the practical and the creative, all working together for the process and the end result. It will be good to get into my final abode, so that I can find my final routine. Good night to all, and to all, Merry Christmas!