Review: L.A. Women’s Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet is a Passionate Affair

Hamlet - Lisa Wolpe

Kimberleigh Aarn and Lisa Wolpe. Photos by Enci Box

You will not find a more impassioned version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet than the one Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company is currently offering at the Odyssey Theatre. And with the very real possibility that this may be the company’s final work comes the necessity of experiencing what these dedicated professionals have created while under the influence of Shakespeare’s words.

I had the good fortune to see Lisa Wolpe, who returns to Hamlet in the title role, when she played Richard III at Cal Poly Pomona in 2011. She is an actor who disappears into whatever character she portrays so completely that you forget the most obvious fact – she is a woman playing a man – and instead simply see the journey of a person. For Richard it was his calculated ascent to power; for Hamlet it is the unraveling of his mind in the quest for revenge.  More

Lisa Wolpe’s Rehearsal Process is a Study in “To thine own self be true”

Lisa Wolpe as Hamlet2

Photo by Kevin Sprague

Since 1993, the award-winning Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company (LAWSC) has carved out a unique niche in the landscape of L.A. theater. Led by Producing Artistic Director, Lisa Wolpe (pictured right), it examines contemporary issues and cultural perceptions of women through an all-female theatrical lens. In many ways it mirrors the original all-male playing company for whom Shakespeare wrote, at a time when women were not allowed to perform on stage.

LAWSC once again enters the larger conversation within which it resides with its upcoming production of Hamlet at the Odyssey Theatre. It is an eagerly anticipated event, and an undertaking that offers unlimited new avenues for truth in the exploration of Shakespeare’s masterpiece. I was interested in how this company of artists approaches a play, and although Wolpe was already deep in rehearsals, she graciously offered her thoughts about their work. I hope you’ll find them as compelling as I did.  More

L.A. Women’s Shakespeare Company Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Hamlet

Hamlet LAWSC

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.”   More

%d bloggers like this: