“My Brooklyn Hamlet” – a story of forgiveness, healing

Brenda Adelman

By Brandon HENSLEY

In 1995, Brenda Adelman’s father killed her mother and married her aunt. Five years later, Adelman turned her tragedy into a one woman play and now, 10 years later, it will be available to witness in La Crescenta this weekend.
Appropriately titled, “My Brooklyn Hamlet,” Adelman will perform the play at the Center for Spiritual Living this Sunday, Aug. 15 at 12:30 p.m., followed by a forgiveness workshop at 2 p.m.
The Center’s theme this month is forgiveness and given Adelman’s story it would seem only right to have her tell her tale of struggle to find peace and, ultimately, forgiveness toward her father.
Adelman, who lives in Santa Monica, started the idea as a story-telling exercise in acting class. Originally she had no intention to make it a performance. “I just knew, I had an inner guidance, to get on stage and tell my story,” she said.
Her first show was in 2000, when it ran for six weeks. But she took fours years off. She got her master’s in Spiritual Psychology. She had more healing to do, and when she returned to the show in 2004, she rewrote the ending.
Adelman grew up in Brooklyn, and said her mother used to read Shakespeare to her when she was young, “And I studied Shakespeare in New York and in London not knowing that one day it would be a saving kind of thing for me.”
She has taken her show to several states in the U.S. and has also performed in London. “Now I want to go to every English-speaking country in the world,” she said.
The show, which incorporates humor as well as drama, has had an effect on people who have seen it. Adelman says she sometimes has people telling her about their stories of suicide or other tragic incidents.
“There’s a healing that happens with the show,” she said.
And obviously, it has helped Adelman herself. “From a bigger perspective, what is this really about for me? And I have the tools within myself to heal
from this and to learn from this and to have been empowered by this.”
Adelman, who has several independent and short films, has performed the show at a women’s prison, as well as high schools. She said the forgiveness workshops for the high schoolers was a rewarding experience.
For reservations, call (818) 249-1045. The cost is $20 for the play, $20 for the workshop or $30 for both.
The Center for Spiritual Living is located at 4845 Dunsmore Ave.