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All-Female cast reinvigorates Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Odyssey Theatre

Lisa Wolpe in the title role of Hamlet
Kevin Sprague

Los Angeles – The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company co-present a multicultural, all-female classical production of Hamlet at the Odyssey Theatre on August 30th. This special production celebrates Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company’s 20th anniversary.

The cast features 16 members including producing artistic director and celebrated Shakespearean actress Lisa Wolpe in the title role and award-winning film, television and theatrical star Eve Gordon as Gertrude.

“This will be a richly appointed, classical production that mines the depth of Hamlet’s mystery,” explains Wolpe.

Co-directors Wolpe and Natsuko Ohama also worked together 18 years ago in LAWSC’s 1995 production of Hamlet, in which they also 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.

In to this production LAWSC will offer to the community educational programs for high school and college students, internships, talkbacks and symposia before and after select performances.

“I've long admired Lisa's unique experiment of tackling Shakespeare utilizing an all-female company of actors,” says Odyssey Theatre Ensemble artistic director Ron Sossi. “It's the sort of gutsy artistic excursion we thrive on here at the Odyssey.”

The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble's mission includes the creation of new work; the revitalization and re-exploration of classical material; consistent experimentation with the most current developments at the forefront of international theater; continuing development of new acting, directing and writing talent via the Actor's Laboratory, Play Development Program and Emerging Directors Plan.

LAWSC is an award-winning all-female, multicultural theater company that produces the plays of Shakespeare. The company was named as “one of the ten coolest things to do in Los Angeles” by Los Angeles magazine, has been featured on CNN, PBS, CBS, ABC, NBC and London’s International News and was honored by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle with the 2008 Margaret Harford Award for “Sustained Excellence in Theater.”

Hamlet opens on August 30th and runs through October 30th at the Odyssey Theatre located in West L.A. at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. For production details and tickets visit or call (310) 477-2055 ext. 2.

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