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latinx theatre, devised theatre, latinx Shakespeares, community shakespeare, bilingual theatre, bilingual shakespeares


Ay, Pobre Yorick

Directors: Andrea Rios and Armando Rivera

Apollinaire Theatre Company

Chelsea, MA


Ay, Pobre Yorick (2016)



            In July 2016, three female actors, ranging from age 10 to 17, each performed the role of Hamlet within one bilingual adaptation, Ay Pobre Yorick.  It was co-directed by Mexican-born choreographer and dancer, Andrea Rios, and Puerto Rican theatre artist, Armando Rivera.  The script was cut to one hour, and both Rios and Rivera also performed in the show, in the play within the play, as well as narrated in between scenes.[1] All five actors performed multiple roles and remained onstage at all times. 

Ay, Pobre Yorick ran for one weekend within the run of Apollinaire in The Park’s main show, Hamlet (dir. Danielle Fauteux), performed by a professional cast and a promenade style in which the audience moved with the action of the play, so actors and audience moved across spaces, at times standing and other times sitting.  The overlap in the productions meant that Hamlet ran for one month and Ay, Pobre Yorick ran in its final weekend, performed at 6pm before the main show’s 8pm start time, essentially making the all-female youth bilingual adaptation a play within.[2] The production preceded the inauguration of the Riseman Family Theatre, now home to the Apollinaire Play Lab.  It was performed in PORT Park in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a diverse town outside of Boston.

Apollinaire already had a history of bilingual productions (13 years). Chekhov, Tom Stoppard, Lorca, Jean Cocteau, Cyrano de Bergerac, Brecht, in Spanish as well as English.[3] Located a few miles north of Boston and across the Mystic River in Chelsea, the theatre has been successful with bilingual productions, as Chelsea is 67% Hispanic/Latino.[4]


                                                                                                CARLA DELLA GATTA

                                                                                                FEBRUARY 2022

[1] Erin Clossey, “La Obra Es La Cosa: Alumna Directing Spanish Youth Production of Hamlet.” July 28, 2016.

[2] Scholar and fight choreographer Danielle Rosvally simultaneously staged the fight scenes for both productions that summer, as well as a concept production, Bad Hamlet, over fifty miles away in Providence. See Danielle Rosvally, “One Summer, Three Hamlets: A Practical Guide to Flow Fight,” Theatre Topics 28, no. 1 (March 2018): 53-59. doi: 10.1353/tt.2018.0007.

[3] In 2021 they staged an immersive, bilingual, and promenade style Romeo and Juliet.

[4] “QuickFacts: Chelsea city, Massachusetts.”  Census. Accessed 6 Sep 2021.

Images courtesy of Erin Clossey
bilingual Hamlet, Spanish Hamlet, bilingual theatre, bilingual Shakespeares
Ay, Pobre Yorick - Latinx Hamlet
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