Mary Romano of Bloomberg News had this to say about Twelve Ophelias:
In the new play “Twelve Ophelias,” Hamlet is a slacker, his mother Gertrude runs a brothel and the setting is a squalid shantytown instead of Denmark’s royal court.
Woodshed Collective, a small Brooklyn, New York, theater company, is presenting its twist on Shakespeare’s tragic tale of the Danish prince at McCarren Park Pool in the hip neighborhood of Williamsburg. The free show at the outdoor performance venue runs through Aug. 22. Seating is limited to 300.
“We wanted to script a better ending,” said the play’s 25- year-old director, Teddy Bergman. “In ‘Hamlet’, she continually surrenders her will to others. In our version, she walks out of the pool at the end. She is unleashed into Williamsburg to start a new life. She decides Hamlet is too screwed up in the head.”
Before she reaches that conclusion, Ophelia finds herself in a downtrodden Appalachian town where Hamlet and his friend Horatio are slumming, Gertrude runs a whorehouse and the king’s informants, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, are town gossips with “ambiguous genders,” Bergman said.
“It’s Denmark by way of ‘Deliverance,”’ Bergman said, referring to the movie in which a canoe trip into the wilderness turns into a nightmare for four men after they confront the crude locals.
The vast McCarren Park Pool, closed since 1984, has become a popular space for indie rock concerts, dance performances and film screenings. It was one of 11 public pools built in 1936 and had a capacity for 6,800 swimmers. The pool is managed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. “Twelve Ophelias” is the first play presented at the venue.