Hamlet by William Shakespeare
directed by Angie Higgins
I truly believe that taking risks is essential to making art. It is our job as artists to explore, discover, and offer our audiences a fresh perceptive when we are inspired to do so. This is a play that has inspired me to explore… with a non-traditional cast in a non-traditional world. My hope is that you will open your heart and mind to Hamlet and his story, as well as the role of women in theatre, in a new way.
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Hamlet is a ghost story, but not just in the traditional sense. For it is not just a ghost that can haunt you. You can be haunted by your memories, your indecision, betrayal from those you hold dear, a restrained or fervent love, complicated relationships, or your “what if’s.” For Hamlet, these “ghosts” weigh on his mind just as heavily as the echoing words from the ghost of his father. His thoughts and actions range from deliberate and philosophical to impassioned and reckless. In this production, we present to you an abstract and surreal world that mirrors the mindset of Hamlet as he faces the “ghosts” that haunt him.
Why do Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy with an all-female cast? Well, it brings me great joy to give the opportunity to not just two women, but fifteen to be a part of Shakespeare’s legendary and rich text. These women understand the heart, soul, and mind of this tale… and frankly, I believe they deserve the opportunity to be able to tell it. I have had more than one person skeptically ask me, “How can women pull off being men?” To me, it is simple. They are actors playing characters vs. women playing men and to dig a little deeper… just because someone is referred to as “he” does not indicate where they fall on the gender spectrum. As an audience member, I would like to invite you to consider that each of these characters is somewhere on a gender spectrum that is more nuanced than just cis-male or cis-female. In the end, they are actors telling you a story and each of them, no matter their gender, brings a unique perceptive to this tale that I believe is not about men, but rather about human beings.
I hope you will take the leap with us and enjoy and explore the risks we’ve taken in creating a new world for this classic masterpiece.
Taking risks and facing ghosts,
Silicon Valley Shakespeare