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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Port City players present 'Hamlet' with a twist

Port City Playhouse is performing William Shakespeare’s classic “Hamlet” – with a twist – Oct. 13-28 right here in Mason District.

Performances are at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, 3435 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church.

Hamlet, considered to be one of the greatest plays in the English language, follows the exploits of the title character, who comes home to mourn the recent death of his father and is disgusted by the marriage of his widowed mother to his uncle, who now rules the kingdom.

In this modern adaptation, director Juli Blacker has swapped the gender of the principal characters, allowing the audience to gain a fresh perspective on the play.

“As an anthropologist, I have always been interested in how our concept of gender affects how we see the world,” Blacker says. Although there have notable productions of the drama with an actress playing Hamlet, Blacker says, “this production goes farther by seeing what it would mean to live in a matriarchal society where the women rule and fight.”

“The gender switch allows insightful views on disjointed and dysfunctional families,” adds Alan Wray, who produced the play with Mary Beth Smith-Toomey.

Rebekah Raze plays Hamlet. The production also features Hilary Adams, Brianna Goode, Timothy Caron, Rachael Dickson, Timothy R. King, Raeanna Nicole Larson, Lesley McKnight, Brendan Quinn, Jessie Roberts, Emma Safford, and Griffin Voltmann.

Port City Playhouse relocated to Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church last spring after being based in Alexandria since the 1970s.

The theater company is “entering a period of reinvention,” Port City Playhouse states. Its goal is to stage plays “that are outside of the usual community theatre repertoire and/or that are of significant historical or human importance.”

The play opens on Friday, Oct. 13. Performances are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. There’s also a show on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. Admission is $20 ($18 for seniors, students, and military members). Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. “Hamlet” deals with mature themes and is suggested for audiences 13 years and older.

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