3 Life Lessons From Hamlet In A Hot Tub

Photo by Ben Powless: Hamlet In A Hot Tub at Nuit Rose Closing Ceremonies, Pride Toronto (2015).

(1) You won’t learn a thing if you do it perfectly. There’s a difference between making a mistake in public and intentionally making a public mistake. We adapted the original production of Hamlet In A Hot Tub (HIAHT) so we could perform it in the washrooms during the Rhubarb Festival and despite weeks of rehearsals, performing out of the washrooms with an actual audience remained a theory right up until opening night. Lacking a model for how the show should work I had to give up trying to control our space so that the constant uncertainties became an expected part of our process, and to some extent, the show itself.

(3) The audience can be your friends, literally. An audience made up of complete strangers can be nerve-wrecking but at the end of the show those strangers will go home and remain strangers while our friends, family and peers can be a source of feedback to reflect on against the backdrop of what we intended to produce.
(3) A cast of theatre actors can be more reliable than your own family.
Being there for each other can be as simple as always being on time because everyone involved in the show depends on everyone else, moving mountains to be at a rehearsal is just how the family grows tighter. In 2015 we performed Hamlet In A Hot Tub fourteen times and thanks to the dedication and shear madness of the cast and I’m proud to call this highly dysfunctional (surrogate) family my own, here’s to a steamy 2016!

Hamlet, Ophelia, Gertrude and Polonius are Hamlet In A Hot Tub in this outrageously funny and gender-bending adaptation of Shakespeare set in a modern day bathhouse. Written + Adapted by Brock Hessel, David Bateman also featuring Paul Bellini, Amy J. Lester, Directed by Raymond Helkio and Music by Stewart Borden.