In 1968, a young actor named Martin Sheen appeared in a groundbreaking production of Hamlet in New York City.
The eternal tragedy of the Bard was altered by rock music and modern sensibilities thanks to Joseph Papp, the creator of Free Shakespeare in the Park.
According to Martin, 81, Joe wanted to present a modernised version of the play, but he also wanted to connect with a group of individuals who didn’t frequently go to the theatre, much less Shakespeare. “So we sang and danced.
The Naked Hamlet or Hamlet as a Happening were the names given to it. I’ve never had a better theatre experience than that.
In following years, Martin enjoyed significant success in films like Badlands and Apocalypse Now, as well as on television, where he played US President Josiah Bartlet in The West Wing.
He is thrilled to share his memories on American Masters: Joe Papp in Five Acts, a brand-new, A-list PBS documentary, had its debut on June 3.
Being a part of that theatre and knowing Joe at such a pivotal time, in Martin’s words, was the “highlight of my life in the theatre.” Check your local PBS station for more air dates.