Shakespeare’s Will
By Vern Thiessen | Directed by Dawn McAndrews
Sponsored by Eaton Peabody, Co-Sponsored by Benjamin & Judy Bertram

Meet Anne Hathaway. Shakespeare’s wife, defiantly graceful, unsparingly brave, proudly imperfect. As Anne mourns her husband, avoiding reading his will, she unpacks their relationship before our eyes; revealing secrets and passions from the day they met, to the day he died. As the multiple layers of the play’s title are revealed, we are irreversibly immersed in Anne’s story: her sacrifices, her wisdom, her sexuality and, last but far from least, her ongoing efforts to remain faithful to herself. Shakespeare’s Will sheds light on unexplored aspects of Hathaway’s life by looking through the eyes and heart of the woman who spent a lifetime with, and without, the great poet. This work is the celebration of a life unbowed by tragedy and unapologetic in the face of public scorn.


Thursday, July 11, 7:30 p.m. (Preview/Monmouth Night)
Friday, July 12, 7:30 p.m. (Opening Night)
Saturday, July 20, 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 24, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 28, 7:00 p.m. (Post-Show Discussion to Follow)
Thursday, August 1, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 4, 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 7, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 10, 1:00 p.m. (Closing Night)

Production Team

Dawn McAndrews
Jim Alexander
Set Designer

A.J. Baldwin
Assistant Director
Jennifer Fok
Lighting Designer
Melissa A. Nathan
Assistant Stage Manager
Elizabeth Rocha
Costume Designer
Cameron Sarchi
Stage Manager
Llyn Thomas
Production Assistant
Rew Tippin
Sound Designer


Y’vonne Rose Smith
Anne Hathaway

From the Director

There are nine known facts about Anne Hathaway. Just nine. So, learning about this woman was fascinating because all I knew about her was her name. I found out pretty quickly why that was: there’s nothing out there about Anne Hathaway. It’s all about William Shakespeare. Of course, history is built on the facts we can piece together, plus a lot of supposition to be shaped into something that sounds like truth. In Anne’s case, she is often maligned by historians (who were mostly men, writing about men, for men).

So, her “truth” became that she was an older woman who trapped this young, intelligent, special boy by getting pregnant and marrying him. Shakespeare’s Will takes those nine facts that exist out there in the world and attempts the impossible: it molds them into a …human story. It makes them into something beautiful: a poetic telling of Anne Hathaway’s life from her perspective. A story about a brave woman in honest contemplation of her life’s choices. To have sex. To be pregnant. To marry that “boy.” To raise those children, utterly by herself. To welcome her husband home when he was ready, and to live with him until his death. This contemporary play portrays a full-throated Anne in every emotional color imaginable, at the center of her own story instead of relegated to a footnote in Will’s; a robust exploration of feminist themes resonant even in the #MeToo present. Shakespeare’s Will offers a tour de force for an actress and explodes with truths untold for centuries.