Photos from “Sweets to the Sweet” in suburban Chicago

Hamlette (left) and Laurita (right) in their sword fight at the climax of "Sweets to the Sweet."

Hamlette (left) and Laurita (right) in their sword fight at the climax of “Sweets to the Sweet.”

In September, Gorilla Tango Theatre in Skokie, Illinois (an offshoot of the one in Chicago proper) staged my full-length script “Sweets to the Sweet.” At last, here are some photos from the show.

“Sweets to the Sweet” is my re-write of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I’ve switched the genders — so Hamlet becomes Hamlette, Laertes becomes Laurita, Ophelia becomes Phil, Claudius becomes Claudia and so forth — and set the show in a modern-day slumber party. The language is modern, but includes all the famous Shakespeare lines. To me, it’s a way to help introduce audiences to the real thing. Plus, it creates a lot of female roles in what otherwise is a male-heavy show — and allows for some girls to try out stage combat.

Director Jessica Sawyer has shared these photos. So here goes:

The marquee!

The marquee!

Marcie (Marcellus), Bernice and Hortense (Horatio) at the slumber party in the opening scene.

Marcie (Marcellus), Bernice (Bernardo) and Hortense (Horatio) at the slumber party in the opening scene.

The ghost appears to Marcie, Bernice and Hortense.

The ghost appears to Marcie, Bernice and Hortense.

Claudia (Claudius), Polly (Polonious) and Phil (Ophelia).

Claudia (Claudius), Polly (Polonious) and Phil (Ophelia).

The players.

The players.

Hamlette.

Hamlette.

Laurita, my version of Shakespeare's Laertes.

Laurita, my version of Shakespeare’s Laertes.

Hamlette and Laurita, again.

Hamlette and Laurita, again.

You can find more photos here.

SWEETS TO THE SWEET (The Female Hamlette)
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.

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