Internationally acclaimed theatre artist Lisa Wolpe will present her solo play “Shakespeare and The Alchemy of Gender” at Hope College on Wednesday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.
On Tuesday, March 10, at 4 p.m. she will lead a workshop in the DeWitt Center main theatre exploring issues of gender as presented in Shakespeare.
The public is invited to both the performance and the workshop. Admission is free, and tickets are not required.
Wolpe is the artistic director of the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company, an award-winning all-female, multi-cultural theatre company. In addition, she works around the United States as an actor, director, and is touring her solo production internationally this season. She was featured in a full-length article in the September 2014 issue of “American Theatre Magazine.” She is thought to have portrayed more of Shakespeare’s male leading roles than any other woman in history and is featured in the book “Women Direct Shakespeare in America,” by Nancy Taylor. She recently received the Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theater Community and was awarded the Key to Harlem and a Congressional Certificate of Merit for her work with the Harlem Shakespeare Festival in 2013.
In “Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender,” she both performs and contextualizes her experience of interpreting some of the many Shakespearian roles she has played, including Hamlet, Iago, Richard III and many others, while exploring her own life story from childhood to maturity. Her work speaks towards liberation from the “gender box” of expectations, and offers a unique and powerful perspective of courage, resilience and hope against her family's troubled background of war, sickness, suicide and despair.
The workshop on Tuesday, March 10, will feature four female professional actors from Chicago performing scenes from “Macbeth,” “Julius Caesar” and “Richard III.” Wolpe will demonstrate the power and possibilities that emerge when women take on the male roles created by Shakespeare.
Wolpe’s visit is sponsored by The Hope College Patrons for the Arts; the departments of Theatre, English, and Women’s and Gender Studies; and the college’s Cultural Affairs Committee.
The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.