Women Playing Hamlet
Women Playing Hamlet is a comedy about a tragedy. Jessica can’t believe she’s been cast as Hamlet on Theatre Row in NYC. Hundreds of women have played the melancholic princes(s) (including Sarah Bernhardt and Dame Judith Anderson), but for Jessica it comes as a complete shock. She auditioned for Ophelia. Faced with a massive up hill climb, she sets out to find herself in the role with the help of self-important humanities professors, supercilious Shakespeare scholars, and barflies. She even gets texts from Patrick Stewart in her search to find why a woman must play the role of Hamlet.
This play uses unique staging devices. First of all, four women play nineteen roles (although it can be done with a larger cast). Second, women play all the male roles. In Shakespeare’s day women’s parts were played by men - in this play we have a little revenge - after all it is Hamlet. Finally, the play uses Shakespeare’s own staging technique known as Verbal Scene Painting to set the locations.
Winner of a Rolling Premiere from the National New Play Network.
“With the colorful script and vivid characters Women Playing Hamlet is a slam dunk…” - Kansas City Examiner
Roles for 4 to 18 women