New comedic play explores arts equity

  • Jenn Towle, left, and Amy Derosiers appear in “Women Playing Hamlet.” Courtesy of Dan Derby

New Hampshire Theatre Project
Published: 1/18/2022 3:55:14 PM
Modified: 1/18/2022 3:54:09 PM

New Hampshire Theatre Project’s 2021-22 Main Stage season continues with the sophisticated new comedy Women Playing Hamlet by William Missouri Downs. Directed by Blair Hundertmark, four women play multiple roles (including Hamlet) in a show that’s been described as “rip-roaring fun for Shakespeare fans and haters alike.” As the titular character, Jessica faces a personal existential crisis when cast as the Prince of Denmark; she has numerous hilarious encounters with past actors of both genders who have made the role their own. Under all the fun, however, lies the serious question of whether or not true equity is realizable in contemporary theater.

Director Blair Hundertmark says, “It’s such a joy to work on a play that’s clever and funny, but also deceptively insightful and intellectually stimulating. Women Playing Hamlet is like a fast-paced roller-coaster ride seated between Patrick Stewart, William Shakespeare and Sarah Bernhardt. It’s a timely feel-good piece of brain candy right now!”

Women Playing Hamlet stars Amy Desrosiers, Kate Kirkwood, Courtney St. Gelais and Jenn Towle, with stage management by Samantha Smith, assistant stage manager Hannah Hall, set design by Quentin Stockwell, lighting design by Tayva Young, costume design by Jenn Towle, and sound design by CJ Lewis.

Women Playing Hamlet will be performed live at NHTP Jan. 28 through Feb. 6, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. The show will also be streamed for home viewing Feb. 3 to 6, at 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday also at 2 p.m. Full information and ticket links can be found at nhtheatreproject.org/onstagenow.

In connection with NHTP’s Women Playing Hamlet, Community Connector Series will continue on Feb. 2 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m with the season theme of “Equity in the Workplace: Are We There Yet?”

All patrons must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the past three days to enter the building. Masks are required at all times in the building.

For more information about the artists and work in New Hampshire Theatre Project’s 2021-2022 season, visit nhtheatreproject.org.




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