A modern, comedic take on a classic Shakespearean tragedy

Submitted by Actors Theater of Orcas Island.

Actors Theater of Orcas Island delivers a clever and funny modern comedy about an old tragedy in the upcoming production, Women Playing Hamlet at the Grange for two consecutive weekends: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 10, 11, and 12 and 17, 18, and 19.

Hamlet is a challenge for any actor, but when Jessica is cast as the titular character in a New York production, it sends her into an existential tailspin. It doesn’t help that her acting coach is borderline abusive. Or that every Starbucks barista with an MFA tells her she’s too young for the role. Or that she’s somehow managed to make Sir Patrick Stewart her nemesis. Not to mention the fact that she’s a woman. How can Jessica figure out “to be or not to be,” when she can’t even figure out herself? Featuring an all-female cast performing multiple roles, Woman Playing Hamlet is great fun for Shakespeare fans and haters alike.

The cast features Alyssa Burnett as Jessica and Valerie Buxbaum as her acting coach, plus 19 other characters played by Isabella ‘Bee’ Schermerhorn, Luann Pamatian, Susan Hampel, Liz Doane, and Diane Craig.

The play calls for a selection of four different types of purses. Each purse will be crafted by one of the island’s premier quilters, Maggie Kaplan, and each will be raffled off the last night of the play, Nov. 19. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase each night of the production.

Doug Bechtel is the director of ATOI’s production of Women Playing Hamlet, Dorrie Braun is the stage manager; Bechtel also provides Audio and Lighting Design; Larry Hampel, Projection Design and Tech Operations and, of course, tasty cookies by Paula Capaitano with proceeds going to support the Grange.

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Grange door, Darvill’s and www.orcasactors.org.