Backstory of Hamlet on the Moon

The Original Essay That Started It All

The Origins of Moon Hamlet

By Daniel Moore

In Fall of 2003 for a writing class we were assigned to write our own interpretation on Hamlet. I decided to place it on the Moon in the future because it was a new and different setting for an old story. I wanted Hamlet to be cloned from two fathers mostly for the wordplay with "Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended" "Father you have my father much offended" as well as to reduce the validity of the Oedipal interpretation. Polonius became Poloniusbot because he would be the most hilarious as a bleeping and whirring robot. This then lead to Opheliatron and Laertes being robots as well. I wrote a brisk sample Act I, and some analysis and then turned in the assignment (See above link). Thus it remained until over a year later when I saw Graham in the courtyard by Storke Tower and said "Yo, we should put on Moon Hamlet."

So Graham looked over my sample Act I and decided that it would be totally sweet to have the whole play be performed. I then went to work copying and pasting the whole play from the Internet, formatting and replacing names with moon names and words with moon words. The first version was very bad, but it was a good starting point: a pile of wet clay to be woven into an intricate tapestry.

Then we start editing. I rephrased the Shakespearian English into more modern English while trying to keep the same meaning, style and tone. I took this new partially revised version to Graham; now that we can read and understand the text better we can really start to get a feeling for where we want this play to go. All the elements start falling into place: robosexuality, human cloning/artificial reproduction, homosexuality and same sex unions, robotics and consciousness, technological progress, and the meaning of humanity itself.

We paired Graham's skills at theater and directing with my skills of orchestrated insanity together with successful results. We both began to understand the essence of Hamlet and then take that essence and place it in a rocket ship and send it to the moon. We would spend about four hours a night together going over each scene line by line and another four hours each day separately typing up the changes, preparing the next acts and scenes, and brushing up on our knowledge of Shakespeare, Hamlet, and the Moon.

A couple of months later and at least 250 hours of editing each we had a pretty final draft. My role as writer was pretty much finished and Graham took over directing the greatest adaptation of Shakespeare ever to take place on the Moon.