About the Show
William Shakespeare's life was full of shadows, and one of the most tantalizing was cast by Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's elusive and enigmatic wife. There is inherent mystery at the heart of Shakespeare's Will as it explores the question: Who was Anne Hathaway?
It is 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Shakespeare's widow has just returned home from burying her husband. As she studies the unopened sheaf of paper in her hand, Anne reflects on 34 years of marriage to a man she rarely saw. While she remained in Stratford to raise their three children on her own, her ambitious husband had long ago followed his dreams to London. Now he is gone, and Anne sits alone with her memories. Her husband's last wishes lay in her hand. So why is Anne reluctant to uncover them?
Inspired by the actual contents of William Shakespeare's last will and testament, Shakespeare's Will is a powerful depiction of love - lost and hidden, loyalty - tested and betrayed, and above all, it is the story of one remarkable woman and her determination to remain faithful to herself.
Shakespeare's Will was commissioned by the River City Shakespeare Festival (Edmonton, AB) and premiered at the Citadel Theatre (Edmonton, AB) in 2005. The Citadel production was the winner of the Sterling Award for Outstanding Production of a Play and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition.
In 2006 Shakespeare's Will was produced by the Gateway Theatre (Richmond, BC) and the Western Edge Theatre (Nanaimo, BC). The play celebrated its American premiere at the Nevada Shakespeare Company/Theatre 40 (Beverly Hills, CA) in 2007 and was also produced at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Stratford, ON) that same year.
In 2010 Shakespeare's Will was produced by Clwd Theatr Cymru (Cardiff, Wales), Twice As Good Productions (Prague Fringe Festival, Czech Republic), and the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival (Syracuse, NY).
In 2011 the production of Shakespeare's Will starring Seana McKenna and directed by Miles Potter was produced by Marquis Entertainment on tour. It was presented by the Globe Theatre (Regina, SK) and The Stratford Festival of Canada for a collective run of 14 weeks, averaging 90% houses.
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"...perceptive and beautifully written...when the text is as good as Thiessen's...you need little else besides..." - Globe & Mail (National, Canada)
"[Shakespeare's Will] is always gripping, frequently hilarious and ultimately very moving." - The Toronto Star (Toronto, Canada)
"Masterful. In theatre...it's rare that you get something that is unequivocally, indisputably great...Every so often something comes along that deserves to be gushed about. The hardest thing about reviewing it...is figuring out where to begin praising it..." - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"Strongly poetic...meticulously crafted, exquisitely nuanced..." - The Edmonton Sun (Edmonton, Canada)
"A rich, imaginative, funny and poignant piece of theatre has been created out of the gaps in our knowledge of the life of Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway." - Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales, UK)
"[Shakespeare's Will] is an interesting take on a fascinating story...Thiessen's script offers plausible theories turned cleverly into dramatic action." - The Hamilton Spectator (Hamilton, Canada)