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Women Playing Hamlet

Fun for Shakespeare fans and haters alike, Woman Playing Hamlet is a modern comedy about an old tragedy.

  • Full Length Play
  • Comedy
  • 110 minutes

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Target Audience: Adult
  • Set Requirements: Bare Stage/Simple Set
  • Cautions: Strong Language

  • Performance Group:
  • Community Theatre, College Theatre / Student

  • Accolades:
  • Winner! Rolling Premieres From the National New Play Network
Hamlet's 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, Women Playing Hamlet is rip-roaring fun for Shakespeare fans and haters alike.


"With the colorful script and vivid characters Women Playing Hamlet is a slam dunk..."

 Kansas City Examiner

"What's amazing lies in the script where Downs dissects Hamlet's intricate character and puts all aspects of Hamlet's persona in Jessica's challenge to scale the ladder to play the part."

 Kansas City Examiner

"A rollicking satire jabbing shallow pop culture, overly reverential attitudes toward literature and the intensive navel-gazing shared by actors."

 Florida Theatre On Stage

"Silly, profound and ultimately moving."

 Florida Theatre On Stage

"This wickedly clever new play from William Missouri Downs, dubbed 'a comedy about a tragedy,' uses an all-woman cast to explore question of courage and conscience in a modern setting, managing to both spoof Shakespeare and pay homage to him in a two-hour show that moves like lightning."

 The Patriot News Harrisburg

"Downs's script has... theater history and some of the eternal questions about playing Hamlet woven into its fabric, along with funny and sobering truths about the actor's life."

 Miami Herald

  • Casting: 4F
  • Casting Attributes: Parts for Senior Actors

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Women Playing Hamlet Script Order Now

Jessica is shocked to learn she's been cast as Hamlet. Jessica's stress is compounded by her insulting acting teacher, her distracted niece, and angry calls from her nemesis, Sir Patrick Stewart. How can Jessica figure out Hamlet when she can't even figure out herself? Fun for Shakespeare fans and haters alike, Woman Playing Hamlet is a modern comedy about an old tragedy.