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Hamlet With Eggs

Shakespeare's prince gets a sex change.

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What if Shakespeare's most famous brooding prince were actually a princess? That is the question posed by David Hansen, who directs the gender-bending production of Hamlet that opens at the Beck Center tonight. "What if [Hamlet's mom] gave birth to a girl, and to insure the succession for the safety of the state, raises Hamlet as a boy?" asks Hansen.

Playwright Sarah Morton plays the titular role on a dark and sparse set, its design influenced by German expressionism as well as Hansen's desire for maximum impact and function. "I hate furniture," he says. "I hate it when people have to come in and take away a chair."

Props aren't the only thing receiving the director's cut: Don't expect any girl-on-girl action between Hamlet and Ophelia, because Hansen deleted references to their physical relationship from the script. "My editing creates a seamless whole," he says. "I want people to follow the story the way we're telling it."
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Sept. 29. Continues through Oct. 22

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