New York | 1h 10m | Already closed

How to Hamlet, or Hamleting Hamlet

From 5 critic and 7 member reviews
Members say: Quirky, Delightful, Entertaining, Clever, Funny

About the show

Theater Reconstruction Ensemble presents a meta-theatrical meditation on the Bard’s most famous work. More…

Four actors are tasked with staging—you guessed it—'Hamlet.' But can they shed new light on the most well-known story in the English language? Are they prepared to take on such a monumental challenge? As they confront their own artistic and academic anxieties, their conversation transforms into a sort of séance, giving way to an unexpected conjuring of the ghosts of Hamlet past. As each actor transforms into the stock characters of Shakespeare's classic—a ghost, a scholar, a king, and a grave-digging clown—they fall deeper down the rabbit hole of theatrical history. Shakespeare's words swirl around them, but are never quite within their grasp. 

Culture Catch

“The performers sometimes employ language from ‘Hamlet’ and sometimes paraphrase or summarize it (many times to hilarious effect)...‘How to Hamlet is a clever exploration of the theatrical tradition accomplished through some really entertaining verbal and physical comedy…All of the cast members shine as both the convincingly down-to-earth performers and the more exaggerated Shakespearean characters.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Theater Reconstruction Ensemble tackles the essence of 'Hamlet' in a way that is high concept, high context, and thoroughly delightful...A production that would be most appreciated by seasoned Shakespearean connoisseurs because of its deep-cut references. Audience members who might not remember every detail of 'Hamlet' could feel left out...It is still an exhilarating and truly original take on a classic; its team of masterful actors and designers also impress with their craft." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“Clever ruses and amusing cover-ups that take on an almost slapstick quality…It’s a peek inside the machinery that makes plays ‘happen’...The cast are a fun, competent group who deftly pull off this mind twist. But it’s inside baseball: a sly, heady production probably best suited for those ‘in-the-know’ (actors and crew types), who will get more of the jokes and may or may not enjoy seeing their daily anxieties played out on stage.” Full Review

Stage Buddy

"They look like they’re having a great time going from reluctant performers to confident players. They do a fine job with the material, which has a tendency to be a bit uneven, bordering on slow. Some of the technical aspects shine here...Though 'How to Hamlet' is playing on well-tread territory, it manages to be truly unique." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"Intriguing and well-staged, though it could probably do with a thorough workshop and 20 more minutes of content...The cast of four is undoubtedly talented, and they deliver the Shakespearean speeches with intensity and command of the language...While it might be a bit difficult to follow where they are in the story of 'Hamlet,' there are some really lovely moments...While the concept of the play is very intriguing, the delivery of the concept is muddled." Full Review

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you like comedies

Don't see it if you don't like comedies

Quirky, Funny

See it if You enjoy experimental theatre with a late-night, cult comedy vibe.

Don't see it if You need to know what's happening (even though the actors are fully committed to their circumstances)

Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if Want to see an attempt at experimental theater using the Bard greatest tragedy that gets lost in its experiment.

Don't see it if You know nothing about Hamlet. You will be very frustrated

Quirky, Indulgent

See it if You, too, are a young creative theater artist, and are interested in what another's exercises might look like if brought to an audience.

Don't see it if You are not interested in the experimental, you want a play.

Clever, Great staging, Refreshing, Quirky, Edgy

See it if you're interested in theater + keeping NYC arty + willing to open your mind. TRE is great indie company exploring classics in a new light.

Don't see it if you expect to be spoon-fed a story or plot, and if you don't want to think or engage with ideas of theater and art.

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you love an irreverent but skillful and hilarious take on the old classics

Don't see it if you're boring

Delightful, Entertaining, Refreshing, Fascinating, Delicate

See it if You appreciate a subtle essay on the absurdities of theater itself, and enjoy watching wildly talented actors having fun

Don't see it if You are stuck-up about the Shoulds and Shouldn'ts of Shakespeare, or if you don't like to think about things by yourself

Cast & Creatives (13)