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Shakespeare in Hollywood

Shakespeare in Hollywood

A Comedy

Commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and winner of The Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play of the Year. It's 1934, and Shakespeare's most famous fairies, Oberon and Puck, have magically materialized on the Warner Bros. Hollywood set of Max Reinhardt's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Instantly smitten by the glitz and glamour of show biz, the two are ushered onto the silver screen to play (who else?) themselves. With a little help from a feisty flower, blonde bombshells, movie moguls, and arrogant "asses" are tossed into loopy love triangles, with raucous results. The mischievous magic of moviedom sparkles in this hilarious comic romp. Commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare in Hollywood had its world premier in 2003 at Arena Stage and won the Helen Hayes award for Best New Play of the Year.

For nine men and three women. Unit set.

Kind Words

"'Shakespeare in Hollywood' will charm your socks off. It left me smiling in my Amtrak aisle seat all the way home to New York."

The Wall Street Journal

"Shakespeare in Hollywood is so deliciously inventive, you'd swear Ludwig and the Bard were in cahoots. At once poignant and funny, literary and farcical, sophisticated and silly, political and fanciful, high-brow and low-brow … a delight!"
The Baltimore Sun

"Lights, camera, action -- there's plenty of it in Ken Ludwig's fantastical farce … Ludwig has constructed an amazingly dense and layered romp [and] clearly had a ball fusing Shakespearean diction with the wisecracking verbal jousting that characterized pre-World War II comedies."
The Boston Globe

"A fast, funny, entertaining night."


Winner of the Helen Hayes Award as Best New Play of the Year.


- Arena Stage Production
The Baltimore Sun
Chicago Tribune
The Wall Street Journal
- Lyric Stage, Boston Production
Boston Globe
- Monterey Production
Monterey Herald
- Umpqua Actors Community Theatre Production
Oregon News-Review

Relevant Articles

Starlets, Scandal, and Shakespeare: Haverford Alum's Play Brings the Bard to the Backlots of Hollywood by Brena McBride
Foreword to Shakespeare in Hollywood by Ken Ludwig
Illustrated Glossary to Shakespeare in Hollywood [Word Document]
Quotes about the making of the film version of A Midsummer Nights Dream by Walter Bilderback
Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Hollywood by Walter Bilderback
Shakespeare On Screen by Walter Bilderback
Shakespeare in Hollywood - Notes on Max Reinhardt by Walter Bilderback
Comedy and the Great Tradition by Ken Ludwig
Simon Reade discusses how the RSC commissioned Shakespeare in Hollywood

Relevant Interviews

Origins of Shakespeare in Hollywood

Licensing Information

Click here.

Production Photos

Arena Stage production PC: Scott Suchman, Courtesy of Arena Stage,
directed by Kyle Donnelly
Wilma Theatre production PC: Jim Roese,
directed by Jiri Ziska
Arena Stage poster artwork by Jody Hewgill

Maggie Lacey as Olivia Darnell - Casey Biggs as Oberon (Arena Stage)

Alice Ripley as Lydia Lansing - Robert Prosky as Max Reinhardt (Arena Stage)

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Left Emily Donahoe as Puck - Casey Biggs as Oberon (Arena Stage)
RightRobert Prosky as Max Reinhardt - Everett Quinton as Will Hays (Arena Stage)

Rick Foucheux as Jack Warner - Michael Skinner as Daryl -Robert Prosky as Max Reinhardt - Alice Ripley as Lydia Lansing (Arena Stage)

Ellen Karas as Louella Parsons - Adam Richman as Jimmy Cagney (Arena Stage)

The Wilma Theater Production:

Michael Sharon as Oberon - Caroline Tamas as Puck (The Wilma Theater)

Shakespeare in Hollywood at The Maret School
Director, Rachel Lurie Gayer
PC: Charles Fischl:

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Full Cast

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Left: Anna Smeragliuolo as Lydia Lansing and Doug Eacho as Dick Powell
Right: Katherine Haselkorn as Olivia Darnell

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Malcolm Scott as Oberon and Emily Boland as Puck

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From left to right: Kendra Mitchell, Betsy Paul, Rebecca Rubin, Lily Lamb-Atkinson, and Gabrielle Watkins


Contact Information
©2006 Ken Ludwig.
All rights reserved.
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