Students Inspired by One-Man Show, "Breakneck Hamlet"

By Dr. A.J. Kohlhepp
Director of Advanced Humanities

Berkshire School's English Department was excited to welcome Tim Mooney for a performance of his "Breakneck Hamlet"—a lightning fast sixty-minute version of Shakespeare's iconic tragedy. Mr. Mooney's one-man production company seeks to "to inspire, inform, enlighten, educate and entertain through the works of our great theatrical thinkers."

Allie Kohlkins '18, a theater maven who posed craft-centric questions to Mr. Mooney over lunch, was impressed by his recall and his range. "That's a whole lot of lines," she remarked, "and that's just one of his shows!" (Mr. Mooney is prepared to enact six or seven different plays at any given time.)

"I actually stayed awake for the whole thing," marveled fellow senior Zander Sasslove '18, who has in the past found live versions of the Bard's works to have a soporific effect.

Dave Olson, lead teacher for sixth form English, appreciated the timeliness of this particular production. "The seniors are just beginning their study of the play," observed Mr. Olson. "It all culminates in their in-house production of Hamlet Night, which graces Allen Theater on October 26."

On the heels of Mr. Mooney's visit, various faculty factions are already imagining a return engagement. Mohammed Hetraf, AP French teacher, is intrigued by "Moliere than Thou"; Stuart Miller, English chair, imagines the benefits of "Shakespeare's Histories" to the third formers as they undertake Henry IV, Part 1; and Callie Carew-Miller, who studied the writing of Lady Mary Sydney Herbert at Cornell and shared her findings with Advanced Humanities Research, is intrigued to see where Mr. Mooney will attempt to answer the question, "Who actually wrote the plays of William Shakespeare?"

Special thanks go out to Jesse Howard, director of Berkshire's theater program, and Penny Powell, academic technology coordinator, for their Herculean support with this production.