This April, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents two performances by Dutch artist Yan Duyvendak that invite audiences to participate and influence the narratives.
In Please, Continue (Hamlet), Duyvendak and Bernat reframe Shakespeare's Hamlet as a present-day homicide trial. Chicago actors portray the pivotal characters, including Ophelia (Krystal Ortiz), Hamlet (Matthew Elam), Gertrude (Lily Mojekwu), and Polonius, while court officials are played by actual Chicago prosecutors, trial judges, and public defenders, including federal judge Joan Lefkow. Hamlet is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Ophelia's father Polonius, and the prosecutors try in earnest to succeed in convincing a jury of audience members of his guilt or innocence. The trial is unscripted, and all participants have access to the same, unchanging dossier of evidence. The performance takes place over the course of three to four hours and has been performed in venues around the world with wildly varying verdicts. Please, Continue (Hamlet) draws attention to the theatrical nature of the justice system and raises the question around subjectivity and the concept of "guilty till proven innocent."
The run time for Please, Continue (Hamlet) is approximately 210 minutes and runs from Thursday to Saturday, April 25-27, at 7:30 pm with a performance on Sunday, April 28, at 2 pm. Tickets are $30 and can be reserved through the MCA Box Office by phone at 312.397.4010 or via www.mcachicago.org.