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The Auroville Theatre Group:




Drupad as Hamlet. Photo by Ireno Guerci

Drupad as Hamlet.




Drupad, Saraswati as Hamlet and Ophelia. Photo by Ireno Guerci

Drupad, Saraswati as Hamlet and Ophelia.




Jenny, Peter H. as the Gravediggers. Photo by Ireno Guerci

Jenny, Peter H. as the Gravediggers.




Anadi as Laertes.Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Anadi as Laertes.





Savitri, Florise and Charu,
as Gertrude, Francisco and Claudius.




Anadi, Drupad as Laertes and Hamlet.Photo by Ireno Guerci

Anadi, Drupad as Laertes and Hamlet.




Drupad as Hamlet. hoto by Ireno Gerci

Drupad as Hamlet.




Charu as Claudius. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Charu as Claudius.




Drupad and Margarita as Hamlet and Horatio. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Drupad and Margarita as Hamlet and Horatio.



Drupad, Peter H. as Hamlet, Osric. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Drupad, Peter H.
as Hamlet, Osric.




Swar, Mita, Peter as Players, Drupad as Hamlet. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Swar, Mita, Peter as Players, Drupad as Hamlet.





Swar as the Ghost. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Swar as the Ghost.




Savitri, Saraswati as Gertude, Ophelia. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Savitri, Saraswati as Gertude, Ophelia.




Savitri, Drupad as Gertrude and Hamlet. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Savitri, Drupad as Gertrude and Hamlet.




SABARI. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Sabari, Elke and Margarita as Marcellus, Bernardo and Horatio.




Saraswati as Ophelia. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Saraswati as Ophelia.




Otto as Polonius, Saraswati as Ophelia. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Otto as Polonius, Saraswati as Ophelia.




Swar as the ghost. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Swar as the ghost.




Saraswati as Ophelia, Anadi as Laertes. Photo by Ireno Guerci.

Saraswati as Ophelia, Anadi as Laertes.


All photos copyright by Ireno Guerci.

The Auroville Theatre Group

an adaptation of
Wm. Shakespeare's


performed at Town Hall Plaza, Auroville
Jan. 24, 25 and 26, 2008
7:30 p.m.

Cast of Characters:

HAMLET ... Drupad
OPHELIA ... Saraswati
GERTRUDE ... Savitri
CLAUDIUS ... Charu
LAERTES ... Anadi
HORATIO ... Margarita
FORTINBRAS ... Srinivasan
The NARRATOR .. Jill

Sound ... Janaka
Sound Mix by Matthia
Lights... Jean L., Mahi
Follow spot ... Joy, Jonah, Himal
Costumes of The Ghost, Gertrude, Polonius, Claudius ... Coco
Fight Sequences ... Jeremy
Hair Stylists and Makeup: Rena, Ladina
Asst. for Makeup and Hair ... Swaha, Aurotaranti
Graveyard Skulls by Saraswati and friends

Stage Manager: Mira
Asst. Stage Managers: Thanajayan and Segar

Director: Jill

Many thanks to:

Lakshman and Luigi at Town Hall for their assistance
Jean-Marc and the Le Morgan staff for trying their best
Marco and Nina at the MMC - Cinema Paradiso - for their cooperation
Mauricio for Shakespeare's Sonnet music
Anna (Gaia) for dance choreography
Town Hall watchmen for being our first audience
Crisp Whiskers
The Medicis
All the husbands, wives, lovers, friends and families for their infinite patience during this journey
The Free Store and Nandini for costumes and tailoring
Ganesh Bakery for feeding us
Anna, Saraswati's mom, for feeding the audience
The Visitor's Centre cafeteria for the tea
Ireno for great photos
AVRadio for audio CD of HAMLET
Yatra for the HAMLET video
Saraswati for her endless hospitality

SAIIER and Auroville Artist's Gathering for their financial support and encouragement

special thanks to Savitri for providing us with a rehearsal space at New Creation

The Auroville Theatre Group is a project of SAIIER (Sri Aurobindo International Institute for Educational Research), Bharat Nivas 605101, Auroville, INDIA

For more information about The Auroville Theatre Group, please contact:
email: Auroville Theatre Group atg@auroville.org.in
land phone: +91-413-2622-840
cell: 94864 16173
skype: jillnavarre


What the Critics Have Said about "Hamlet":

Enjoying "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare
Ed Friedlander, M.D. erf@kcumb.edu

"...pluck out the heart of my mystery..." -- Hamlet

"Once you get past the minor difficulties posed by the language, you'll probably enjoy "Hamlet" -- and not just for its action.
"Hamlet" is the first work of literature to look squarely at the stupidity, falsity and sham of everyday life, without laughing and without easy answers. In a world where things are not as they seem, Hamlet's genuineness, thoughtfulness, and sincerity make him special.
Hamlet is no saint. But unlike most of the other characters (and most people today), Hamlet chooses not to compromise with evil.
Dying, Hamlet reaffirms the tragic dignity of a basically decent person in a bad world.
"Hamlet" is the first work of literature to show an ordinary person looking at the futility and wrongs in life, asking the toughest questions and coming up with honest semi-answers like most people do today. Unlike so much of popular culture today, "Hamlet" leaves us with the message that life is indeed worth living, even by imperfect people in an imperfect world.
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is full of talk about death, dead bodies, murder, suicide, disease, graves, and so forth. And there is no traditional Christian comfort or promise of eventual justice or happiness for the good people. But the
message is ultimately one of hope. You can be a hero.
Aristotle wrote that in a tragedy, the protagonist by definition learns something. Whatever you may think of Aristotle's reductionist ideas about serious drama, Shakespeare's heroes all develop philosophically. (You may not agree with everything they decide.)
As you watch the play, notice how Hamlet -- who starts by wishing he was dead -- comes to terms with life, keeps his integrity, and strikes back successfully at what's wrong around him.
So far as I know, it's the first time this theme -- now so common -- appeared in world literature."

A Hamlet for our time

In order to understand all the private griefs and calculations of characters in a play like Hamlet, you have to take their public power struggles seriously and to have an instinctive sense of how important and overbearing these struggles
can be and how brutally they can intrude into the would-be 'private' lives of the characters.
This Hamlet is set not in an embattled medieval kingdom, but in a modern corporation (the 'Denmark Corporation') threatened with a hostile takeover (by the Fortinbras Corporation, presumably).
What is gained is that suddenly, for instance, the advice from Laertes to his sister Ophelia – about how Hamlet may love her, but that doesn't mean he won't be obliged by his family position later to dump her and marry someone more suitable, and that Ophelia could, in the meantime, be "ruined" – suddenly makes a whole lot more sense, at any rate to me.
I don't have to work out why what Laertes says makes sense. I read the gossip columns, and I know already why Ophelia might be playing with fire.
For a young girl, from a good but not a famous family, now to be known to
her friends and family as not being a virgin, and indeed to be known to have had several flings, well, that's not a problem nowadays. But once the media get all over it, a story like this can turn very nasty.
What if Ophelia tells the media that she expects to marry Hamlet, but then he does dump her. What if 'polite society' then shuns her. And what if, simply to make ends meet, she then sells her sad story to some other bit of the media,
and they – because what can she do to stop them? – fiddle the details to make her look utterly gullible and stupid and maybe even a calculating little bitch?
Suddenly 'ruin' isn't such a strange idea after all. In a world of blanket media coverage of the lives of the high and mighty, and of blanket media coverage of the girls who get mixed up with them, a young woman can indeed be 'ruined'.



Rehearsal Monday 30 th of April

Meeting with Gertrude, Claudius,

Hamlet and Hamlet senior

  • Hamlet talks about money, his first interest is to talk about money and business.
  • Claudius wants to send his brother to India , he says he'll take over; he should take a break, go alone, he can't stay 24/7 at home. But Hamlet senior isn't convinced.
  • Hamlet senior contradicts Claudius, never agrees with him.
  • Hamlet senior talks to his son about his studies, Hamlet talks about dance. His father tells him he should play basketball or swimming.
  • Hamlet tells his father ‘It's all about the mind, it's an illusion of superiority”.

Exercise: talk with your eyes.

  • Hamlet takes his father's side, they take each other in their arms.
  • Claudius and Hamlet senior look at each other with superiority. H.s. looks suspiciously at his brother; he doesn't look away from him.
  • Hamlet plays.
  • Claudius and Hamlet have short, superficial contact. Claudius is proud when H. comes to him.
  • Something is bothering Hamlet senior. He comes in between Claudius and Hamlet.
  • Hamlet senior lectures Claudius, looks down on him. Claudius doesn't like that.
  • Hamlet senior. is easily perturbed by his brother's gestures, sayings. Always watching him, listening to what he says.
  • Claudius provokes his brother. (Hamlet senior screams at him, Claudius laughs at him).
  • Claudius looks angry/ jealous when Gertrude is walking with her husband and son.
  • Gertrude has a positive attitude. She laughs at everything, she laughs at her son, applauses him, kisses him.
  • Hamlet senior. takes his anger out on his brother, he screams at the first word he says. Claudius' interest in Gertrude is very visible, he observes her, becomes very shy around her, like a little boy.
  • Claudius tries to pick fight with Hamlet s., both verbal and physical.
  • While Hamlet senior. isn't looking, Claudius tries to flirt with Gertrude. Gertrude is always kind to Claudius, but never flirts back.



Exercise: what animal is your character?

Gertrude: Cat, looking for attention, going toward others.

Hamlet: Horse, running free.

Claudius: Panther, tiger, wild dog ??????

Hamlet senior: a bear



Conversation btw Hamlet s. and Hamlet .

Hamlet is in his head, he talks about philosophy. Hamlet s. is down to earth, only interested in what Hamlet is saying when he talks about knowing what Claudius is going to do. H.s talks about spying on Claudius.


Conversation btw Gertrude and Claudius.

Claudius tries to get G. to come with him to India . “You should come with me, I would be glad to accompany you”.


Conversation btw Hamlet senior and Claudius.

Hamlet senior: Claudius is too old to get married.

Claudius: why do you always say things like that? What's your problem with me. Fuck you. You treat me like dirt. Unfortunately for you, I'm your brother.

(Gertrude defends Claudius but denies it to Hamlet senior.)

Hamlet senior: you don't realize that without me, you wouldn't be here. Why are you sneaking around my wife?

Cl: ha, ha. I feel for her. You ignore her. Why should I listen to you?

Hamlet senior: I'll tell you why, because I give you money. I protect you, love you.

Cl: As long as I was in line. Did what you asked. Love, what an idea of love, you asshole.

You are finished, finished.

I can't communicate with you anymore.

Hamlet senior: I don't want to see you anymore.

Cl: At least we agree on something.




Jill: “this play is about relationships; through relationships we tell the story. The most dramatic moments are when you discover something in relation to others.”



Ending the rehearsals with intimate conversations between Charu and Swar, Savitri and Axel.


Rehearsal 3rd of May

Gertrude, Claudius, Hamlet senior.

(Axel absent)



They are in their early 20's


Exercise: Gertrude announces her pregnancy to Hamlet s.

  • Gertrude and Hamlet s. talk about her pregnancy.
  • Hamlet s. suspects her, keeps asking her questions, about whether he was there, where was Claudius… He insists on knowing the date of conception. Gertrude has to tell him the timing when it happened, how it happened. But he's still not convinced, he says he doesn't remember. He's suspicious.
  • Hamlet s. has difficulties to come close to Gertrude, to join her in her happiness.
  • They both want a son.
  • He wants to know how they will announce it, if she's going to stop smoking, how much she drinks…


Claudius enters…

Claudius takes Gertrude from Hamlet s.


Exercise: you are at a beach café.


•  Claudius starts drinking a lot, he starts flirting with the waitress. This seems to bother Gertrude; she keeps on telling him to stop it.

•  Claudius is trying to get attention by doing stupid or dangerous things.

•  Drunk, Claudius tells Hamlet s. that he's like a banana because he's protected from every side , Gertrude answers to this, that bananas are good.

•  Gertrude tells both Hamlet s. and Claudius “I'm your ideal woman”.

•  When Hamlet s. has the opportunity to make Claudius jealous, he takes it. Hamlet s. looks at Claudius from the corner of his eye, half smiling, when Gertrude sits on his lap.

•  When it's time to go home, Hamlet s. doesn't want to let his drunk brother alone, Claudius answers to this: “Hey Hamlet, you are not my fucking father, ok. You just go with your wife”.

•  “He's the black sheep in the family, he's got an inferiority complex and he blames me”, says Hamlet s. about his brother.

•  “You're all about yourself, I need more from you”, Claudius says to Hamlet s.




Claudius is already starting with Gertrude but she isn't doing anything. Her relationship with Hamlet has to be clear, it is the first relationship and has to be a lot of affection between the two, and they are very much in love.

There has been a business since already 5 years, Gertrude married into the business.




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