On Sunday, June 25, the CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP) presents two special performances of Brazilian American artist and CalArts alum Peter Mark’s (Theater MFA 17) HA-M-LET at the 30th anniversary edition of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival (FITS) in Romania.
Known as the third largest theater and performing arts festival in the world, FITS is a transformative and community-focused 10-day festival; this year, the event is organized around the theme “Miracle.” HA-M-LET, originally developed by Mark in association with LA-based performance center Automata Arts, joins this year’s expansive anniversary programming.
More about the play from CNP:
HA-M-LET is a multilingual, multimedia performance housed within a projection cube. Themes of madness, deceit, and familial conflict take digital form as artist/performer Peter Mark grapples with tumbling thoughts and images that reach a vivid state of saturation. With materials sourced from Shakespeare’s play, internet culture, home videos, and 3D animation, the interwoven imagery morphs between landscape and body, narrative and biography – shifting at a rate that pays homage to Hamlet’s own velocity of thought. The artist’s Brazilian parents appear in the roles of King, Queen, and Ghost, rendering a conflict both textual and real – simultaneously liberated and confined by layers of media.
“Shakespeare’s text can meet whatever you throw at it, and that includes GIFs, memes, and the most contemporary images,” Mark said the CNP release. “Just as Hamlet didn’t know how to cope with what was required of him by the ghost – the image – of his father, I wanted to explore that same connection between body and image; how the past, present, and future can all be layered; and how images can beckon us to act beyond ourselves.”
HA-M-LET made its world premiere in 2018 at STUDIO teatrgaleria in Warsaw, Poland, as part of Mark’s CNP residency. The following year, the performance traveled to Los Angeles for a performance at Hauser & Wirth, and later to the 2022 Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival in Poland.
The shows at FITS will be performed in English and Portuguese with translation into Romanian and English. Watch the trailer for HA-M-LET above.
“We have long admired Peter’s boundless imagination and singular approach to performance,” added School of Theater Dean and CNP Executive Artistic Director Travis Preston. “Using Shakespeare’s text as an entry point, he subverts our every expectation to deliver us something wholly original, personal, and wild.”