READ: "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare
It's almost summer, which means it's almost time for Shakespeare in the park. While Shakespeare's comedies usually get the most stage time this time of year, Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is a tragedy worth revisiting even if the heavy subject matter doesn't match the lightness of the season. Summer doesn't officially start until June 20th, so you can still squeeze this one in before switching over to fun beach reads like "New People" and "Do Not Become Alarmed," both of which are on my summer reading list.
WATCH: Laurence Olivier's "Hamlet"
There is no shortage of great film adaptations of "Hamlet." From Kenneth Branagh's unabridged, four-hour long movie to Michael Almereyda's contemporary adaption starring Ethan Hawke to Tom Stoppard's comedy "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead," there's a version out there for everyone — traditionalists, modernists and even the Shakespeare averse. Unfortunately, most of these movies aren't included in subscription streaming services, but you can rent them for about $4 on Amazon. Laurence Olivier's "Hamlet" is my personal favorite, despite the fact that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern aren't in it.
LISTEN: "This American Life #218: Act V"
This week, "This American Life" reran this 2002 episode from their archives. Breaking from the podcast's standard format, this episode dedicates an entire hour to one story: a production of the last act of "Hamlet" put on by the inmates of a prison. "This American Life" contributor Jack Hitt describes this production as "different because this is a play about a man pondering a violent crime and its consequences performed by violent criminals living out those consequences." This is required listening.