Door County, Wisconsin
September 29, 2021
Door Shakespeare Reading Series Presents Paul Rudnick’s I Hate Hamlet.
Door Shakespeare Producing Artistic Director Michael Stebbins
and Managing Director Amy Ensign
proudly announce the Autumn Door Shakespeare Reading Series offering: I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick. I Hate Hamlet will be presented on Monday, October 18 at 7 p.m. at the Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. The reading is free, with donations encouraged. For information, call 920.854.7111.
Door Shakespeare is a fully vaccinated workplace and will require proof of vaccination or proof of a negative Covid text within the last 72 hours. All audience members must wear a mask. The actors will be unmasked.
I Hate Hamlet is about a popular but out-of-work Los Angeles television actor, and jingle singer, Andrew Rally, who gets cast as Hamlet in a production of the same name in New York City’s Central Park. Andrew has very little Shakespeare under his belt, and his confidence is put on the line. When he arrives in New York for rehearsals, he discovers the apartment that his girlfriend, Deirdre, and a rental agent, Felicia, have found for him was once lived in by none other than the greatest Shakespearean actor of his day, John Barrymore. Coincidences abound as Andrew’s agent, Lillian Troy, once had a dalliance with John Barrymore. All of this is more than enough to summon the ghost of John Barrymore himself to make mischief and hopefully to guide Andrew to the performance of a lifetime.
When I Hate Hamlet opened on Broadway in 1991, The New York Times wrote that it was, “…unapologetically silly and at times hilarious …,” while The Village Voice wrote that is was, “…fast-mouthed and funny … It has the old-fashioned Broadway virtues of brightness without pretensions and sentimentality without morals.”
Director Michael Stebbins said, “Door Shakespeare’s association with Hamlet has been a rollercoaster of a ride. Our 2020 summer season was built around a full ensemble production of Hamlet, as well as David Davalos’ contemporary comedy, Wittenberg, which also features the character of Hamlet. Well, the pandemic had other ideas, and our hopes were dashed. Fortunately this past summer we were able to produce a successful one-actor version of Hamlet. It only felt right to tie up our Hamlet journey with a theatrical valentine to Hamlet himself with I Hate Hamlet.”
Featured in I Hate Hamlet in the role of Los Angeles television actor and jingle singer Andrew Rally is Chicago-based actor Alexander Johnson
. Alexander made his Door Shakespeare debut as the hopeful romantic Charles in the virtual production of J. M. Barrie’s Rosalind.
Theatrical legend and ghost, John Barrymore, will be played by Charles Fraser
. Mr. Fraser was last seen as Dromio of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus in Door Shakespeare’s virtual production of The Comedy of Errors.
Making her Door Shakespeare debut as Lillian Troy, Andrew Rally’s agent and John Barrymore’s one-time lover, is Peggy O’Connell
. Ms. O’Connell appeared on Broadway alongside Tommy Tune and Sandy Duncan in My One and Only. She has appeared extensively at The Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis) and the History Theatre (St. Paul) as well as La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego), Seattle Rep, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
Also making her Door Shakespeare debut (as Andrew Rally’s girlfriend) is Madison-based actor Christine Saenz
. Ms. Saenz participated in the April virtual reading of A Lost Leonardo as part of Third Avenue PlayWorks’ reading series. She also appeared in Tibet Through the Red Box at Children’s Theatre of Madison.
Directing I Hate Hamlet is Door Shakespeare’s Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stebbins. Since coming to Door Shakespeare in late fall of 2017, Michael has directed the Door Shakespeare Reading Series, the critically acclaimed virtual productions of J. M. Barrie’s Rosalind and William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, as well as this past summer’s production of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, adapted by Guy Roberts.
“We are delighted to welcome back both old friends and new faces to the autumn reading series,” shares Door Shakespeare Managing Director Amy Ensign. “Woodwalk Gallery is a great place to cozy up to a good read. Please join us on October 18!”
For more information about Door Shakespeare and their upcoming reading series, visit doorshakespeare.com or call 920.854.7111.
Door Shakespeare was founded in 1995 under the umbrella of the then-named American Folklore Theatre. Since becoming its own nonprofit in 1999, the organization has produced 43 striking productions of classical theater by playwrights including Shakespeare, Moliere, and Oscar Wilde. Door Shakespeare will return to the Garden of Björklunden’s 405-acre estate on Lake Michigan in Baileys Harbor for the 2022 summer season.