The Gorilla Tango Theatre in Chicago will produce my full-length script “Sweets to the Sweet” in September at its Skokie theatre in the Windy City’s suburbs.
If the name of the show sounds familiar, it’s because it comes from Shakespeare. Specifically, Hamlet.
This is my re-telling of the tale — cast in the modern-day, and with the genders reversed.
Or, as my synopsis says:
SWEETS TO THE SWEET
This is the female version of Hamlet. It’s the basic Hamlet story, transported to a modern setting and with all the genders reversed. So Hamlet becomes Hamlette, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern become Rosie and Gilda, Claudius becomes Claudia, and so forth. Instead of being set in a castle in Denmark, this version is set in a suburban home — and opens at a slumber party instead of the nightwatch. And, of course, it’s told in modern language. Otherwise, everything’s here — the skull, the gravediggers, the poisoned swords, the climactic sword fight. And, because the genders are reversed, this script gives women a rare opportunity for a swordfight on stage. If you’ve ever wanted to stage Hamlet, but didn’t think the cast or audience would get the language, or that you didn’t have enough men, here’s the solution. Cast size can range anywhere from 13 to 20, depending on doubling. If 13 — 11 female, 2 male. Or the cast can be expanded up to 20 — 13 female, 6 male, 1 non-gender.
Gorilla Tango reduces that to this on its website:
Lies. Murder. Sword fights. After her mother’s untimely death and her father’s remarriage to the murderer, Hamlette is looking for vengeance in this modern retelling, gender reversed version of Shakespeare’s classic tale.
Show dates are Sept. 7-8 and 14-15.
This will be done with a teen cast, which is how I envisioned the show — as something for high schools or community theatres with youth ensembles.
This will be the fifth full-length script I’ve had produced.
The others are:
* “An Old Story for New Times,” by Attic Productions, Fincastle, Virginia, November 2004.
* “Virginia’s Real,” by Cobb County Playhouse, Acworth, Georgia, July 2006.
* “Red Moon Rising in the East,” by Alley Stage, Mineral Point, Wisconsin (July 2009); 40th Street Playhouse, Norfolk, Virginia (July 2009), The Venue, Norfolk, Virginia (February 2010), and Duluth Playhouse, Duluth, Minnesota (November 2010.) You can find coverage of the Duluth show here and the Norfolk show here.)
* “57 Hours in the House of Culture,” by Studio Roanoke, Roanoke, Virginia, May 2012. (You can find video and photos starting here.)
I’ve had a staged reading of another full-length script, “Klaus,” by the Hollins University Playwright’s Lab, in December 2012 in Roanoke, Virginia, and a reading of “The Ballad of Alejandro Lopez” scheduled in June in New York by the Barefoot Theatre Company. You can find video and photos from “Klaus” here.