'Our American Hamlet' kicks off Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's spring program - Metro US

‘Our American Hamlet’ kicks off Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s spring program

Residents of Wellesley: don’t lament. The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) is coming to Babson College. As if you needed more culture.

Best known for its free-admission Shakespeare on the Common productions, the CSC has announced that, in the coming months, it will greatly expand its programming. CSC will retain its Shakespeare on the Common production — this summer, “Romeo and Juliet” — while offering three additional shows at Babson this Spring.

The first of these, “Our American Hamlet,” is a new, original play by Jake Broder. The story follows Edwin Booth, John Wilkes Booth’s brother — and famed actor in his own right — as he prepares to perform Hamlet on Broadway for the first time since Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. The crowd sells out—but are patrons there to applaud Edwin, or crucify him? Will Edwin’s lack of a moustache be enough to distinguish him from his brother’s misdeeds?

“We have a kind of sickness in our country,” Broder tells us, “where there’s a shortcut — and recent events couldn’t make this more relevant — there’s a shortcut from fame, to power, and it usually has to do with nefarious acts.”

And while the Booths, presumably, didn’t have access to Twitter, Broder makes it clear: this is an American epidemic that took root long before the digital age.

“What happened in that family — they are ‘patient zero.,'” he explains. “The whole family was questing for fame, and now, we don’t remember Edwin. We remember John Wilkes.”

If you go:

“Our American Hamlet”
March 23-26, and March 29-April 2
Sorenson Center for the Arts
Tickets start at $25, commshakes.org

Also coming up:

“Beckett in Brief”
April 27–30 and May 3–7

Next on the Spring docket is “Beckett in Brief,” an evening of three Samuel Beckett plays—”Rough for Radio II,” “The Old Tune,” and “Krapp’s Last Tape” — exploring themes of creativity, memory, sex, friendship, and proximity to death. Because sex and death: who cares about anything else?

These three plays, in particular, are among Beckett’s most autobiographical works. Or, in other words, Samuel Beckett: has some sex, dies. Will Lyman stars. Sorenson Center for the Arts, Tickets start at $40, commshakes.org

“Julius Ceasar”
Saturday, May 13, 7:00 P.M.

Finally, if praying for the demise of your favorite political leader is something you do regularly, watch your perversions come to an analogous, albeit way-more-poetic end in”Julius Ceasar.” It’s only voyeurism if you forget you’re watching a play. Et tu, Bannon? Sorenson Center for the Arts,Tickets start at $20, commshakes.org

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