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Looking for Hamlet, 1603

Covid-19 has put a damper on Lord Denney’s Players’ ability to perform live, but it hasn’t dampened their enthusiasm for exploring Shakespeare’s textual curiosities. Looking for Hamlet, 1603, the company’s seventh production, is a full-length documentary film about the earliest text of Shakespeare’s most well-known play, where Hamlet utters not, “To be or not to be, that is the question,” but “To be or not to be – ay, there’s the point.” Scholars find so many significant differences in this early text when they compare it to its later versions that they have long challenged its authenticity. How did such a curious version of Hamlet come to be, and what should we make of it? The documentary combines both rehearsal footage from a Zoom production of Hamlet as well as interviews with scholars from around the world to explain the scholarship - and the controversy - behind the so-called "bad" quarto.

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Lord Denney’s Players is a theatrical group housed in The Ohio State University Department of English. It was founded in 2014 to demonstrate the value and vitality of student-driven academic theatre. LDP provides an opportunity for Ohio State undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and faculty to engage in intensive experiential learning and research around the annual production of an early English play or series of plays.