Shakespeare for kids? It’s ideal entertainment, four shows served up by some talented UCLA alumni involved in the L’Enfant Terrible theater company and performed at the Bootleg Theater during the troupe’s Family Festival of Fun.
Hamlet, Prince of Puddles, an all-ages adaptation of Shakespeare's classic play, will invite younger family members into the wildly imaginative world of live theater.
L'Enfant Terrible was founded by Angela Berliner M.F.A. ’07 (playwright), Justin Zsebe M.F.A. ’05 (director), and Seth Compton (producer), who formed the group because of their love of storytelling. They believe that amazing, intelligent and subversive theater doesn't have to live in the realm of adult's only theater — true universality of storytelling appeals to all ages and all communities.
Their 45-minute re-telling of the Shakespeare classic adheres to the basic outlines of its archetypal plot. Hamlet is the prince of Denmark, but after the untimely death of his kingly father, his mother Gertrude hastily marries his uncle Claudius. When Hamlet learns who is to blame for his father's death, he struggles to take revenge against his murderous uncle and becomes known as the Prince of Puddles.
L'Enfant is dedicated to creating family friendly plays that will delight both young and old with their brand of theater magic that will knock the socks off the kiddies and make the grown-ups laugh so hard they'll be making their own puddles.
The show previously enjoyed two critically acclaimed runs in the summer and fall of 2010 at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. The company will revive the show again beginning on June 4 for the Fun Family Festival of Tragedy, which also will include three new Shakespeare adaptations: King O’Leary, Titus the Clownicus and Macbeth and the Monster.
L'Enfant Terrible wants to make the first experience kids have with theater to be dazzling and unforgettable. To this purpose, set designer Francois-Pierre Couture and award-winning costume designer Ann Closs-Farley have joined team Hamlet to bring their deliciously wild visions to the stage. Hamlet, Prince of Puddles will fall somewhere between a live action cartoon and a wild troupe of traveling rag tag Shakespearean performers.
“We strive to make work that is excellent and rigorous,” says Compton, explaining L’Enfant Terrible’s mission. “In that spirit we infuse this adaptation of ‘Hamlet’ with a being and an aliveness that celebrates risk taking and endless discovery. Like many theaters, we are searching for meaningful connections with our audience. We want our work to be accessible by all and most importantly provide lasting memories for all ages.”