Host Ira Glass surveys various productions of Hamlet being staged around the country: At community colleges in Brooklyn and Honolulu, on a professional stage in Boston, and at a Shakespeare camp for kids in San Francisco—where all the scenes are death scenes.
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Jack Hitt begins his story about a group of prisoners at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center who are rehearsing and staging a production of Hamlet. The man who plays Hamlet gets in character by recalling times he's wanted to hurt people, like the crime that sent him to prison, in which he shot two people and left them for dead.
Jack Hitt's story about a prison production of Hamlet continues. He discovers that almost all the actors draw on their pasts in one way or another to get into character.
Sure, those who can't do, teach. But what about those who can do? Marlon Brando has created a set of instructional videos about acting, called Lying for a Living. Reporter Jod Kaftan got a sneak preview.