Sunday, May 25, 2008


Hamlet dream, a few months ago

I happen to encounter some people who are cast members anticipating the first performance, in a day or two, of a production of Hamlet, and I remember, before they speak to me, that I had committed myself to playing the title character! I haven't attended any of the rehearsals, nor memorized or even studied the part, yet they need me to fulfill my committment.

Then it is evening, and I am purposefully walking around the basement level of a B&N bookstore. I find some inexpensive versions of individual Shakespeare plays, including Hamlet, amongst a collection of paperback books locked inside a glass case. I would have to call a clerk over to unlock the case so I could have the book, and either I don't want to do this because I feel too shy about it, or I have some other reason for deciding against purchasing the paperback. I go the bookshelves at the far end of the store, and I quickly find a complete edition of Shakespeare's works, totally free for the handling, though of course it is a much more expensive volume than those Shakespeare books that were within the glass case. I'm very seriously thinking of buying this book, but then I start pondering whether this is the best edition of the Complete Works. I try to remember what I know about the various editions.

Apparently I do not purchase the play in any form whatever.

The next day I arrive at the playhouse to take part in the performance. The audience has not arrived yet, but the actors are getting into position to start the play. Or perhaps this is because it is a last rehearsal. I walk on stage and ask the people near me where I am supposed to stand. I am led to the back of the stage, and then far to the left, near the shore of a lake. It seems like I am actually outdoors rather than amongst painted scenery, or at least that the distance I have traversed is much too large to be congruent with an indoor stage (and surely I have walked so far left that the audience will not be able to see me).

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