Upon entering the theater for a performance, most audience members usually take a program and find their assigned seats. “Hamletmachine,” written in 1977 by East-German playwright Heiner Müller, combats this traditional setting.
Gonzaga’s Theatre and Dance Department will be performing "Hamletmachine" in Magnuson Theatre at 7:30 p.m., March 22-24.
The show is an Ambulatory-designed production for audience members to interact with the characters around them.
“Our production is a piece of immersive theater, meaning that the audience is encouraged to walk around the theater space and watch as the action of the play happens in different places,” actress Madeline Keckler stated in an email. “Audience members are encouraged to follow an usher during the performance, who will take them through the space. Because of this, no two people will experience the same show.”
The show depicts the difference between theater and other forms of popular entertainment.
“Often, theater is compared to film, as though theater is a JV film where big-budgets are not present,” director of “Hamletmachine” Nathan Nelson said in an email. “But live theater, truly live theater has a totally unique set of tools and demands that film doesn’t have access too. For one, live theater is living, and ‘Hamletmachine’ is exactly that.”
GU chose this show for a multitude of reasons, yet the most important lies in the message behind “Hamletmachine,” Nelson said.
“The play is very much a mousetrap for 2018,” Nelson said. “It shows that the problems we are facing now need to be solved, we can’t be like Hamlet and just talk taking action. So, I really hope people can see this show and ask themselves ‘what can I do to fix what I want to fix’.”
Tickets for the show are being sold for $5 and are available online at Cashnet: https://commerce.cashnet.com/cashneti/selfserve/storehome.aspx.
Nicole Glidden is a news editor. Follow her on Twitter: @nglidden16