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Showing posts from August, 2017

A Daily Dose of Shakespeare: Hamlet in Pop Culture

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By Elspeth Sweatman

When you studied Hamlet in high school, you may have seen footage of accomplished stage and screen actors such as Kenneth Branagh, Mel Gibson, and Ethan Hawke playing the tragic title role. But, did you know that Shakespeare’s tale has become such a part of our popular culture that you almost get a daily dose of Hamlet? Here are a few of our favorite adaptations, references, and parodies of the Bard’s most famous play.

Mel Gibson teamed up with Elmo in 1994 for the Sesame Street segment “Monsterpiece Theater.”


The Simpsons devoted an entire episode to an adaptation of Hamlet in 2002. Hamlet is played by Bart, Claudius by Moe, and Laertes by Ralph Wiggum. According to The Simpsons’s supervising producer Don Payne, the Royal Shakespeare Company cast of Hamlet (2008)—starring David Tennant—watched this episode at its first rehearsal. 

There are several Star Trek episodes named after Hamlet: “The Conscience of the King,” “Remember Me,” and “Thine Own Self.” And Shakesp…

Nancy Livingston Looks Ahead to A.C.T.'s Future

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By A.C.T. Publications Staff

For former advertising copywriter Nancy Livingston, stepping down this year as chair of A.C.T.’s Board of Trustees represents the culmination of yet another successful campaign. The Cleveland-born Livingston has been involved with A.C.T. since 1976, when she came to The Geary to see Equus, starring Harry Hamlin. But her links with the theater really intensified when Fred Levin, a clothing manufacturer with whom she’d worked as a copywriter and account executive, asked her to join him one night at the theater. “I married the client,” says Livingston, laughing.


Her partnership with Levin drew Livingston into Bay Area philanthropy, through their stewardship of the Shenson Foundation, a donor-advised fund established by two of Levin’s cousins. Today Levin and Livingston continue the founders’ legacy by giving to the visual and performing arts, Jewish social services, the St. Francis Hospital foundation, and other educational organizations.

After contributing t…

Summer Sampler Serves Up a Buffet of Studio A.C.T. Classes

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By Taylor Steinbeck