Rehearsal Skirts: Undergraduate Research and 'Hamletmachine'’s Chorus of Dead Ophelias


Hamletmachine, feminist theatre pedagogy, UNC Charlotte, Ophelia, Heiner Muller


This essay considers the 2016 University of North Carolina at Charlotte production of Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine as a set of rehearsal and production practices that followed a feminist pedagogical framework with the potential to, as Ann Elizabeth Armstrong suggests, “transform both the artists who make the representations and the community members who witness them” by considering “what we do with our bodies on the stage.” Among other choices that decentralized authority, Hamletmachine cast a large Chorus of Dead Ophelias with students of different academic majors, theatre experience, and gender expressions. The result was a working environment that strengthened a primary aim of the production, to expose and denaturalize various structures of power that have material effects on our lives as theatre artists.

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