GAN-e-meed Theatre Project launches their first season with a passionate modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet featuring an all-female cast. In honor of Mother’s Day, tickets for mothers for opening weekend only are $10. Producing Artistic Director SerahRose Roth leads the impressive cast as the prince who, charged with a mission by his father’s ghost, must unravel his family’s mysteries with spies lurking at every turn. Director Christopher Webb has created a stripped-down version which exposes the core of passion, manipulation, and the many poisons of families.
Hamlet will be performed in both Lowell and Somerville. From May 7-9, Hamlet will be performed at Gallery 119, 119 Chelmsford St., Lowell. From May 21-30 at the Café at Center for the Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville.
Discounted tickets are available for $10 for all mothers on Mother’s Day weekend, May 7-9 in Lowell, by entering discount code MOM. “Contemporary mothers will appreciate seeing strong women artists in all the roles as they get swept into the intrigue and passion of this family drama. While it may take Mother’s Day to convince the teens to go see Shakespeare, this approachable, taut two-and-a-half hour production will whet their appetite for more. Or, for a real Mother’s Day gift, mothers can treat themselves” says Jen Alison Lewis, Publicity Associate.
Performing this classic in two small non-traditional spaces creates a strong sense of intimacy, as audience becomes complicit to and part of the spying all around Hamlet.
“Our play is about relationships, about manipulation and revenge and truth, and about who is listening” says Webb. “There is no private space in the play for Hamlet, and that is vividly clear when the audience is 5 feet away.”
GAN-e-meed is taking the rare step of planning a production in two local cities. “We wanted to share this with a broader audience, and the best way to do that is to tour it. I live in the Lowell area and there is a real cultural revolution happening here. I want to contribute to that, in addition to bringing it to the Boston area” says Roth.
So why is a company whose mission is to advance the role of women in theatre doing Hamlet, rather than a play by a female playwright? “Because I wanted to” Roth says with a laugh. While Roth started as an actor, her last few years have been spent in education and directing. “Our fall production will be a contemporary play by a woman, but Hamlet is the reason I started this company. I wanted to play this role and eventually realized I had to make my own opportunity, and that a lot of other women are in the same boat. Christopher was a big supporter in the planning process and it became clear that he is the best director for the job. GAN-e-meed is about supporting women in creating theater that we are passionate about.”
“Our mission is not about “no boys allowed”- Shakespeare is included, as is Christopher” continues Roth. “It’s about opening doors for women artists. What greater opportunity than playing these meaty roles in one of the greatest plays in the English language?”
About the Cast and Production Team
Christopher Webb has directed at local companies including New Rep and Foothills, as well as performing with Actors Shakespeare Project, New Rep, and Stoneham Theatre, among others. He teaches Viewpoints at Boston Conservatory and is Academy Director for Commonwealth Shakespeare, and serves on the board of GAN-e-meed Theatre Project.
GAN-e-meed is committed to including a mix of artists familiar and new, young and old. The cast “is a very diverse group in terms of acting backgrounds, technique, sense of humor: but I definitely felt we were all coming from the same world of the play before we even started” says Becky Webber (Horatio) in a post on the rehearsal blog, findinghamlet.blogspot.com. “We’re just naturally an ensemble” she reflects about working with an all-woman cast.
SerahRose Roth (Hamlet) has been seen as Ophelia in Hamlet at First Folio Shakespeare and The Theatre Co-op, as well as at Rough and Tumble Theatre Co., Brandeis Theatre Company, and Atlantis Playmakers.
Jessica Webb (Claudius) was recently Lady MacBeth in MacBeth for New Rep On Tour.
Becky Webber (Horatio) was also at New Rep in Opus.
Marie Polizzano (Ophelia) has been seen at the Huntington, New Rep, and Commonwealth Shakespeare as well as recently with Exquisite Corps Theatre Company in Limonade Tous Les Jours.
Jackie Davis (Gertrude) is a veteran of local stages including Huntington, New Rep On Tour, and Providence Black Rep.
Linda Goetz (Polonius) recently performed with Salem Theatre Company and previous credits include Commonwealth Shakespeare and Stoneham Theatre.
Meghan Dalton (Laertes) has returned to Boston just for this production, from her recent work in NY.
Kristina Szilagyi (Rosencrantz) recently graduated from Wellesley College.
Samantha Cunha (Guildenstern), is a senior at Melrose High School*
*One role in each GAN-e-meed production is reserved for a young emerging artist.
Barbara Craig (Production Design) is currently an Assistant Professor teaching and designing scenery and lighting at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester MA and has designed scenery, costumes, properties and lighting at academic, professional and community theatres around the country. Her MFA in Design and Technical Theatre is from the University of Minnesota.
Elisabetta Polito (Costume Design) is a second year graduate student in Costume Design at Brandeis University. She received her BFA in Design Art and then majored in Theatre Design at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This past year she has designed many shows including Funnyhouse of a Negro for the Brandeis Theatre Company, SHH! for New Exhibition Room at Boston Playwright Theatre, and Pirates of Penzance and Treasure Island for Stoneham Theatre Young Company.
Angie Jepson (Fight Direction) is an actress, fight choreographer, and teacher in the Boston area. Recent acting credits include: multiple roles as Player #1 in Shipwrecked! at the Lyric Stage Company, and Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf with the Publick Theatre. Recent fight choreography credits include: Legacy of Light for the Lyric, Boom for New Rep, Epic Proportions for Suffolk University, and Don Giovanni for the New England Conservatory.
Melanie Garber (Assistant Production Manager) is a proud member of the Hangar LAB Company 2009. As a director, playwright, teaching artist and actor, she gravitates toward generating theatre that helps us connect as a community and question the status quo. Her plays have been staged at The Factory Theatre (A Work in Progress with Whistler Wednesdays) and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (The Dearest Joy with NERTF). Currently, Melanie is Assistant Directing Timon of Athens with Actor’s Shakespeare Project.