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Wendy Almeida, who will play as Anne Hathaway.

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WEST CHESTERFIELD, N.H. — The Actors Theatre Playhouse ends its 2022 Season with Vern Thiessen’s “Shakespeare’s Will,” a one-woman presentation featuring Wendy Almeida as Anne Hathaway speaking her mind on the day of her husband William Shakespeare’s funeral.

There are four performances on Friday and Saturday evenings, Oct. 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket reservations are highly recommended and are available at the Actors Theatre Playhouse website, Visit the website for reservations and confirmations and more. All tickets are $17, which includes a $2 reservation processing charge.

Very little is actually known about William Shakespeare and his wife of 34 years, Anne Hathaway. But this much we do know: Anne was 26 and pregnant when she married the 18-year-old bard and subsequently bore three children, a daughter and a set of twins. Anne lived in Stratford-Upon-Avon, while William spent most of his adult life in London. Both of them died in Stratford, and they lost a son, possibly of the plague, when he was 11 years old.

Based on Anne Hathaway’s life as far as it is known, the one-woman play focuses on the day of Shakespeare’s funeral. The play has been described as a “poetic monologue that is fragmentary, and richly allusive” by one critic and as “catnip for Shakespeare fans” by another. One Shakespeare scholar is said to have interpreted the play as “an exploration of non-traditional marriages and relationships,” noting that Thiessen is exploring “the relationship between sexual freedom and patriarchal norms of male succession.”

“Shakespeare’s actual will continues to remain a riddle to scholars, historians, and fans, including why he left his wife the ‘second best bed.’ In Thiessen’s play, we actually visit with Anne Hathaway and thus are granted a fascinating peek into what may well have been the truth of their lives,” says producer Sam Pilo.


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