Stage Door News

Toronto: Why Not Theatre takes “Prince Hamlet” on tour

Thursday, September 1, 2022

As you may know, Why Not’s history with Hamlet runs deep. Our first production ever was an adaptation of the play directed by Co-Artistic Director and Founder, Ravi Jain, starring an international cast. For our 10th anniversary in 2017, we went all-in on reimagining the production by challenging who gets to tell this story, and placing Dawn Jani Birley, a Deaf actor, at the centre of Prince Hamlet. This was a completely intersectional and bi-lingual (English/ASL) production, that allowed both d/Deaf and hearing audiences to rediscover the story.

Now, this fall, Prince Hamlet is taking a huge step across the border for an 8-stop tour across the USA and to Robert Lepage’s Le Diamant in Quebec City. It is extremely rare for a company of our size to tour a production of this scale, and we can’t wait to see how hearing and d/Deaf audiences respond to the work.

The touring company will feature a mix of both original as well as new cast members.

Prince Hamlet

Written by William Shakespeare

ASL and Visual Translation by Dawn Jani Birley

Directed and Adapted by Ravi Jain

Featuring Dawn Jani Birley as Horatio, Miriam Fernandes as Rosencrantz/Player King/Gravedigger, Jeff Ho as Ophelia, Eli Pauley as Hamlet, Barbara Gordon as Polonius, Sturla Alvsvaag as Guildenstern/Player Queen, Andrew Musselman as Claudius, Dante Jemmott as Laertes, and Monice Peter as Gertrude

Set and Costume Design by Lorenzo Savoini, Young Family Director of Design at Soulpepper

Lighting Design by André du Toit

Sound Design by Thomas Ryder Payne

Stage Management by Neha Ross


September 12 - 17 | Penn State, University Park, PA

September 20 - 25 | PEAK Performances, Montclair, NJ

September 26 - October 1 | Krannert Center, Urbana, Illinois

October 1 - 7 | Carolina Performing Arts, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC

October 17 - 23 | Mondavi Center, Davis, CA

October 24 - 28 | Stanford Live, Palo Alto, CA

October 29 - November 5 | Utah Presents, Salt Lake City, UT

November 5 - 12 | Le Diamant, Quebec City

Photo: Dawn Jani Birley as Horatio. © 2017 Bronwen Sharp.