Menu Close



A Prequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet

For those with a passion for Shakespeare comes a prequel to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Yes, this is full 5-Act play in iambic pentameter, complete with sword fights, monologues, and many twists.

Also known as my “Hamlet meets Martin Luther” story, Wittenberg was performed in New York City in 2004 to the wonder of audiences who loved its mix of Shakespearean romance, comedy and history.

The Pitch: As Denmark declares another military victory over Sweden, in quiet Wittenberg, Germany, a scarred Swedish soldier, Galen, dares to win his Princess Margaret’s love by conspiring to kidnap Prince Hamlet. But what they don’t know — Hamlet’s brother Valdemar has come in secret to woo and marry Margaret to ratify the peace! Plots converge to murder and bloody indulgence on the streets as Martin Luther prepares for Lent, 1517.

How did the story come about?

Available at Amazon, along with additional sections

A young director asked me about developing an modern take of Hamlet. I told him that there were several challenges, not the least of which was:

What was Hamlet doing in Wittenberg?

That question needled me until I began researching, and it came to me: only “spare princes” went to religious schools. That meant that Hamlet had a brother — the true heir — and that was the genesis of Wittenberg.

I made a pilgrimage from that sleepy town in Germany to Stratford-on-Avon, and to the Globe Theatre, filling my head with “snatches of old tunes” and my notebooks with sketches, maps, and character bits that I then poured into my play.

Over 3 years, and two staged readings with actors (and stage combat!) until it was ready.

Wittenberg, Ready for What?

For you to experience. Find it on Amazon and read it at your leisure, whether you’re a history of Shakespeare buff.

My Kindle ebook also contains chapters on:

  • “The Tale of Two Wittenbergs,” my journey to develop the story through research in Wittenberg, Germany, and Stratford-on-Avon and London, UK
  • How to write like Shakespeare 
  • Considerations for staging Wittenberg, including casting and technical requirements
  • A Wittenberg plot summary
  • Other fragments of poetry practice

If you’re a theater company looking for variety in your usual program, let me know.