Armin Zaphiratous

Hamlet's from Mars, Ophelia's from Venus

Armin's for adapting Shakespeare—and going topless.

published Friday, October 22, 2010

Photo: Helen Zaphiratous
Armin Zaphiratous

Dear Armin,

I’m in a production of Hamlet that has been adapted to take place on a Martian space station. What’s your take on adaptations of the Bard’s work?

Dear Zerk-Zerk

That's pretty rad. I'm for doing anything you want to Shakespeare's plays. He's very dead, which limits his options when it comes to litigation. My favorite adaptation I've seen was Titus Andronicus set in a day care. My second favorite was an otherwise run-of-the-mill Othello, where Iago clipped his fingernails during every monologue and saved them in a little baggy. ― YOURS, ARMIN

Dear Armin,

My director wants me to do a scene topless even though it’s not called for in the script. He says it’s an artistic decision. What should I do?

Dear Inhibited,

I'd like you to walk into that rehearsal hall tomorrow night and say, "I'll do it!" And then I want you to tell me what the name of the show is so I can buy tickets. Seriously, I'm not sure why you wouldn't want to do it. Audiences, critics and awards panels love when actors take risks. Do you not like awards? Maybe your lovely lady lumps are just the things to make that scene really cook? Or maybe the director is a creepy perv? Either way, just take off your shirt. ― YOURS, ARMIN

P.S. I am a creepy perv.


We invite you to Ask Armin via email at Go on and ask. When he doesn't have enough queries to ponder, he bothers the hell out of the TheaterJones editors. Also, we don't stand by or even agree with all of Armin's advice. So don't hold us responsible if things go terribly wrong.

  Thanks For Reading


T. J. Walsh writes:
Friday, October 22 at 8:46AM Slings and Arrows - says it all.

Topless Nancy writes:
Friday, October 22 at 9:27AM

Having done topless scenes before, I'll have to disagree with Armin. You need to discuss nudity with the director and producer before you hit the rehearsal hall and talk about what you're comfortable with. Lay down the law and be specific. Take risks, sure, but I'd advise against jumping into something you may not be comfortable with in the name of getting "awards" (I assume if you asked advice on this then you weren't sure.) Hope this helps.

Inhibited writes:
Friday, October 22 at 12:21PM

Thanks, Armin and Topless Nancy! I will talk to them but I think I'm going to do it no matter what! It does seem like the type of role I could get an award for!

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Hamlet's from Mars, Ophelia's from Venus
Armin's for adapting Shakespeare—and going topless.
by Armin Zaphiratous

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