Amelia Community Theatre
November 4, 2019
To play or not to play Hamlet. That is the question to be answered in the Amelia Community Theatre comedy “Women Playing Hamlet” which opens November 8 on the Studio 209 stage at 209 Cedar Street.
Can a woman play Hamlet? Should a woman play Hamlet? Is anyone ever really ready to play Hamlet? Yes, yes, and maybe!
In William Missouri Downs’ play, Jessica is a young soap opera actress who has the opportunity to portray Hamlet in a New York production. She is filled with doubts as to whether she’s right for the role, and seeks out advice from others, including an acting coach who instructs her to make a Hamlet handbag to understand the role. Jessica has daily encounters with baristas and cab drivers, all of whom have advanced theatre degrees and their own opinions about her abilities to play Hamlet.
Jessica is filled with indecision, much like Shakespeare’s Hamlet who is prone to procrastination. “I can’t seem to take action,” says Jessica, who is played by Brianna Noel. “Women take their time,” says the neighborhood bartender, pondering that perhaps Hamlet has a feminine side when it comes to action.
Director Chris Twiggs says, “Women Playing Hamlet is a funny show about a woman trying to decide if she’s worthy of playing Hamlet. As we all find out as we mature, Jessica learns that we are never truly ready for the roles life expects us to fill.” In a nod to male actors playing women in Shakespeare’s day, Lisa Howard-Welch, Peggy Strickland, and Juliet Howard-Welch each play multiple characters, many of them male, who interact with Jessica.
Performances are at 8 p.m. on November 8-9, 14-16, and at 2 p.m. on November 10. The show is rated PG-13 for adult content and is sponsored by Amelia Island Escape Rooms. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students through college, available at AmeliaCommunityTheatre.org and by calling (904) 261-6749. The ACT Box Office is open from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.