Based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, this one man interactive play is a family friendly production featuring the comedic actor Louis Butelli. Devised by director Robert Richmond (Richard III and Henry V), the Gravedigger, who appears to have much more knowledge about court life in Elsinore than originally thought, arrives with a trunk and a book and responds to questions from the audience using the text from Hamlet.
Professor of English, George Washington University. Council of Scholars at Theatre for a New Audience (NY).
DC projects: Washington Sound Museum (founder/performer); National Cathedral (performer); Smithsonian Folklife Festival (performer); The Kennedy Center (commissioned composer/orchestrator). Honors: Washington Area Music Association Artist of the Year, 2013; Montgomery County Executive Award for Excellence in the Arts; Library Superhero from Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, 2012; Grammy nomination for Best Musical Album for Children on Banjo To Beatbox. Instruments include West African djembe drum, acoustic guitar, and the human beat-box (oral percussion).
Michael Witmore, a scholar of Shakespeare and early modern literature as well as a pioneer in the digital analysis of Shakespeare’s texts, is Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Prior to that, he was a Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin where he directed the Working Group for Digital Inquiry, a group of humanists who use computers to assist in traditional humanities research.
Dubbed “intellectual vaudeville” by The New York Times, the Reduced Shakespeare Company is an American theatre troupe disguised as a comedy team and internationally renowned for reducing large serious topics into short silly comedies. Since its pass-the-hat origins in 1981, "the other RSC” has created ten stage shows, two television specials, several failed TV pilots, a number of books, and numerous radio programs, all of which have been performed, seen, read, and heard at venues worldwide, including off-Broadway, at the White House, Kennedy Center, and at the Folger.
As the Chief Scientist of NASA, Dr. Ellen Stofan’s research has focused on the geology of Venus, Mars, Saturn's moon Titan, and Earth. She is an associate member of the Cassini Mission to Saturn Radar Team and a co-investigator on the Mars Express Mission's MARSIS sounder. Dr. Stofan also was principal investigator on the Titan Mare Explorer, a proposed mission to send a floating lander to a sea on Titan.
Considered by many to be one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America, Octavio Solis’ works both draw on and transcend the Mexican-American experience. He has written over twenty plays that have been mounted across the country at companies such as the California Shakespeare Theatre, the Yale Repertory Theatre, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Mr. Solis has received the Pen Center Literary Award for Drama, the United States Artists Fellowship, the National Latino Playwriting Award, a Playwriting Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Roger L.
A senior at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington DC, Francisca Piantini is a member of the Folger’s Lily McKee High School Fellows Program, a rigorous course in which students explore a range of approaches to Shakespeare and the humanities by diving deep into three plays and the sonnets. She is the vice president of her school’s Book Club and a member of the Gardening Team and the Green Team. She hopes to become a high school math teacher and keep her connection with the Folger and its amazing opportunities.