Schools in the Miami Valley recently enjoyed a farcical look at one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedies when Muse Machine artists Chris Shea and Natalie Houliston visited to share a production called “Fishmongers and Lunatics.” The interactive experience includes a speedy tour of Hamlet including take-offs on the famous soliloquies and death scenes.
The innovative production incorporates improv comedy, sock puppetry and slapstick antics.
Shea, well-known locally as the producer of Free Shakespeare in the summertime, says the idea is to bring Shakespeare to kids who don’t care about Shakespeare or who may even hate it.
“We start off with a survey of the audience and a couple of kids are always honest enough to say they don’t really care about Hamlet,” he explained. “And then Natalie and I spend the next 45 minutes seeing what we can do to change that; to get them engaged and surprise them.”
“Fishmongers and Lunatics” is part of a diverse season of in-school shows from Muse Machine this year.