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TAPS makes Hamlet its own

A Shakespearean tragedy about a Danish prince in an existential crisis, “Hamlet” has been re-imagined in many different contexts, but in Pigott Theater last weekend, Stanford TAPS proved yet again the timelessness of the struggles the play evokes. By placing heavy emphasis on the humanity of each character — their joys, moments of mirth, frustrations, and deep sorrows — guest director Rob Melrose and the rest of the company created a version of “Hamlet” with profound resonance.

‘The Downfall of Egotist J. Fatzer’: A hilarious, clever and nontraditional exploration of Brecht, war, and gender

It starts with four women dressing themselves as men, applying facial hair onstage and setting up the stage. It ends with them arguing about the point of the story they just told as they leave. That story is “The Downfall of Egotist J. Fatzer,” a TAPS production directed, translated and adapted from Brecht by Ph.D. student Jessi Piggott, and one of the most engaging productions at Stanford.