Hamlet’s Homework; or, the Wit of “Wittenberg”

Hamlet-Laurence-Olivier-1ci8ee1A few weeks ago I went to see a play that I cannot get out of my head.  “Wittenberg,” by David Davalos, considers Hamlet before things go terribly wrong–before his father has been murdered, before his slutty mother marries his corrupt uncle, before Ophelia has sipped the Kool-Aid and started taking orders from men besides Hamlet.  You know, in the days when everything was going his way, and he could flirt with tennis scores and vows of chastity, the time when anything and everything was game because nothing really bad had happened.  At least not yet.

“Wittenberg” is set where Hamlet went to college, and the two professors vying for his attention and intellectual fealty are none other than Dr. Faustus and Martin Luther.  Dr. Faustus is witty and imaginative.  He plays the guitar, he reels you in.  Martin Luther is preachy, but I bet you already knew that. Continue reading