Houston Matters

A Woman Playing Hamlet? Taking On Gender Roles In Shakespeare

At this year’s Houston Shakespeare Festival, many women are playing roles that have traditionally been played by men.

(L-R): Derrick Moore, Shannon Uphold, and Shannon Hill star in Hamlet at the 2018 Houston Shakespeare Festival.

The 44th annual Houston Shakespeare Festival kicks off today July 27, and for the first time in the festival’s history a woman is playing Hamlet. In fact, in this year’s productions of Hamlet and Comedy of Errors, many women are playing roles that have traditionally been played by men.

In the audio above, Houston Matters producer Maggie Martin talks with actress Shannon Hill, who’s playing the title role in Hamlet, about making festival history and the physical demands of the role.

And Jack Young, the festival’s artistic director, tells us about the history of gender roles in the works of Shakespeare.

(L-R): Andrew Garrett, Demetria Thomas, and Crash Buist star in Comedy of Errors at the 2018 Houston Shakespeare Festival.

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