An all-female, multi-cultural aesthetic offers new insight when the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company co-present Hamlet beginning August 30. The production seeks to evoke a politically dynamic, sexually provocative and spiritually awakened frame of reference and will feature a cast of 16 LAWSC favorites and talented newcomers, including producing artistic director Lisa Wolpe in the title role.
“This will be a richly appointed, classical production that mines the depth of Hamlet’s mystery,” says Wolpe, who co-directs with longtime colleague Natsuko Ohama. “Hamlet thinks with a philosopher’s mind, hoping to find a virtuous, authentic path through a dangerous world of murderous monarchs. When the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears to urge him to avenge his death and kill his incestuous, usurping uncle Claudius, a terrifying supernatural world looms larger than ever as six souls die violently and depart to eternal unrest.”
Wolpe and Ohama also co-directed LAWSC’s 1995 production of Hamlet, in which they alternated performing the title role. (In this current production, Ohama will play opposite Wolpe as Polonius.)
In addition to Wolpe and Ohama, the cast of this new Hamlet features Eve Gordon as Gertrude; Veralyn Jones as Claudius; Chastity Dotson as Ophelia and Barnardo; Kimberleigh Aarn as Horatio; Cynthia Beckert as Laertes; Elizabeth Swain as the Ghost and Priest; Linda Bisesti as Osric and the Gravedigger; Katrinka Wolfson as Rosencrantz; Cristina Frias as Guildenstern; and Ann Colby Stocking as the Player King, Sailor and Francisco.
An outstanding design team is set to re-imagine the production, including Don Llewellyn (set design), Jeremy Pivnick (lighting design), Cricket S. Myers (sound design), A. Jeffrey Schoenberg (costume design).
In concert with the production, LAWSC will mentor college interns, offer educational programs for high school and college drama students, and offer talkbacks and symposia before and after select performances for the community at large – all part of the company’s ongoing commitment to grass-roots work on community and connection.
New performance dates: Sept. 7 – Oct. 27 (Gala reception following the Sept. 7th performance)
Los Angeles Women’s Shakespare Company
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025
Tickets and information: (310) 477-2055 ext. 2 or www.OdysseyTheatre.com