Shakespeare Dallas is celebrating its golden anniversary this year, clocking 50 years in the theater business.
In celebration of the achievement, the company is putting on a unique production of Hamlet with an all-female cast. It will run at Samuell-Grand Park through October 15.
Christie Vela is directing. Her original idea was to cast a woman for the role of Hamlet only, but then she decided on an all-woman cast.
Shakespeare Dallas, however, is committed to keeping the integrity of Shakespeare’s genius intact by leaving the pronouns as written in the script.
Jenny Ledel will play Hamlet. She is a returning actor to Shakespeare Dallas and was last seen playing Ophelia.
The theater company markets itself as “the people’s theatre,” hoping that its venue allows “the community to gather and enjoy the words and poetry of William Shakespeare.”
Bob Glenn founded the company in 1972 when it was just a one-person production of Hamlet.
Initially, the company only put on summer outdoor performances, but recently it began to schedule performances outdoors in the fall and indoors at Moody Performance Hall in the winter, as well as dabble in some non-Shakespearean theater classics.
Its winter production for 2023 is A Streetcar Named Desire, signaling the company is growing beyond the realm of its namesake’s repertoire.
Shakespeare Dallas also has an educational program that it started in the 1980s, which gives tours to high school students in North Texas, hosts summer camps, and puts on travel programs. It also offers adult education opportunities.
The company has ambitions for its future, such as its own indoor venue, a rehearsal hall, and administrative offices. It also hopes to offer a statewide education tour and expand its performances throughout North Texas, but needs a managing director to put these plans to work.