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You must pursue this investigation of Watergate even if it leads to the president. I’m innocent. You’ve got to believe I’m innocent. If you don’t, take my job.Richard Nixon
What if instead of brooding in mid 13th century Denmark, Hamlet was the son of a prominent United States politician in the 1970s? What if instead of Claudius killing his brother, seizing the throne, and consequently marrying his brother’s wife, that he looked and acted and dealt like Watergate-era Richard Nixon?
Then you would have the 2019 Creative Collective Production of Hamlet at the Black Box Theatre in Peabody, MA.
Hamlet, Shakespeare’s infamous (and longest) play, has seen stages from London’s west end to Sydney, Australia to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and just about everywhere else in between. It’s been set in modern-day Manhattan, Kashmir, and even Anytown, USA.
This production of Hamlet set during the difficult political scene in Washington D.C., 1972 was especially poignant with Claudius as president, Gertrude as the first lady, Hamlet as disillusioned black-turtle-neck-wearing, pot-smoking youth, Polonius as a political advisor, and Ophelia as a wild, flower child with guitar in tow. As scandal and intrigue and murder revealed itself on stage, the minds of the viewers didn’t need to take much of a leap to put this classic story in its new setting.
It just fit.