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Teen Socrates Seminar – Summer 2016

Shakespeare’s Greatest Hit: Hamlet

Moderated by Carol and Ken Adelman

For the past 415 years, Hamlet has been at the top of the charts – Shakespeare’s greatest hit. This is because it is packed with action – ghost appearances, poisonings, a pirate ship attack, a drowning, and a deadly swordfight to end everything (and nearly everyone). It features Shakespeare’s most fascinating characters – Hamlet, his girlfriend Ophelia, her father Polonius, Hamlet’s father-now-a-Ghost, his stepfather-now-a-murdering King, his mother Gertrude, and his best friend Horatio. Hamlet is filled with beautiful poetry, profound philosophy and well-known expressions. “To be or not to be” is, in fact, the most famous six words in the English language.

Teen Socrates participants will learn about life, ethics, and decision-making from Hamlet. They will see why it has been a box-office hit for more than four centuries.

Moderators and Shakespeare experts Carol and Ken Adelman will guide the discussion and dive deeply into the play by showing scenes from ten different film versions of Hamlet, including the same scene done by different actors and directors. Teens will do some dramatic readings, but be spared from any sword-fights.

The Adelmans will also discuss Shakespeare’s life and relevance to our lives today – the raging controversy about who really wrote his plays, his startling feminism, his coining of the words and phrases that make up modern English, his array of insults, his thriller scenes rivaling scary movies today – and for at least another 415 years.

This three-day seminar convenes high school students ages 15-17 on the Aspen Meadows campus of the Aspen Institute in Colorado, creating a forum in which students can gain insight into timely and important topics. Participants are moved to voice their own opinions, opening a lively dialogue in which diverse viewpoints are shared and valued.

Saturday, July 9
3:00-6:00pm – Seminar Session, Koch Building
6:00-7:30pm – Group Dinner

Sunday, July 10
3:00-6:00pm – Seminar Session, Boettcher Building
6:00-7:30pm – Group Dinner

Monday, July 11
9:00am-12:00pm – Seminar Session, Boettcher Building

Fee: $425, includes all sessions, readings, light refreshments, and two dinners. Scholarships available.

Registration now open.*  For more information, please contact Zoë Brown at or 970-544-7935.

*Note: Participants traveling from out of town to attend Teen Socrates must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 

Event information
Sat Jul 9, 2016 - Mon Jul 11, 2016
Aspen Meadows Resort
Aspen, CO