Gender Play: or What You Will
Co-Created by Will Wilhelm & Erin Murray
Performed by Will Wilhelm †
Directed by Erin Murray ‡
Dramaturgy by Linnea Valdivia
Text Coached by Kathryn Walsh
† denotes member of Actors' Equity Association
‡ denotes Associate Member of Stage Directors & Choreographers Society
featuring stage directions read by Marla Kelly
Presented by Island Shakespeare Festival
Special Thanks to:
Olena Hodges, Peggy Juve, Cindi Rausch, Rob Scott, Angelica Metcalf, Zoe Phelan, Logan Jones, About Face Theatre, Island Shakespeare Festival, Bill Rauch, Jess McLeod, Christian Bufford, and Ed & Loryane Thompson.
Audience Feedback FORM
We welcome your feedback in general or to any of the following questions:
What questions do you have for this play?
What sections or moments did you find the most joyful or interesting?
Has your relationship with Shakespeare
changed after seeing this play?
What did this play make you feel?
ex. inspired, curious, angry, etc.
Did you feel invited into the discussion of the many themes of the play?
e.g. Shakespeare, gender, tarot, etc.
Will Wilhelm (They/Them)
Co-creator and performer of GENDER PLAY. A Michigan native, Will is based in Chicago, IL, where they earned their BA in Theatre from Northwestern University before becoming the first non-binary company member at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. There, they reimaged genderqueer characters in AS YOU LIKE IT, MACBETH, and Bill Rauch's OKLAHOMA! Other notable projects include creating the role of Person in Charge in the Midwest Premiere of STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, written and directed by Young Jean Lee, at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; playing Angel in Metropolis Performing Arts Center's production of RENT, for which they received the 2016 BroadwayWorld Chicago Award for Best Actor in a Musical; and performing full texts bilingually in Spanish and English. Additional theatre affiliations include Victory Gardens Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and About Face Theatre Company. In 2020, Will wrote “Gender is Performance” for Howlround and was featured in the Chicago Tribune.
Will is represented by Gray Talent Group.
Erin Murray (She/Her)
Co-creator and director of GENDER PLAY whose 15 year career has spanned across the US and Western Europe. Erin directed the Irish Premiere of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH in 2005 which won Best Production at the Speigeltent and was later remounted at Project Arts Centre. From 2005 - 2008, Erin was the staff director for Opera Theatre Company in Dublin, Ireland, where she toured five fully staged operas on European tours. In 2012, she was the executive producer on the world premiere of Ariel Zetina's PINK MILK: A MAGICAL TRAGEDY LOOSELY BASED ON THE LIFE OF ALAN TURING at New York International Fringe Festival and Chicago Fringe. Additional directing credits include Anne Washburn's THE INTERNATIONALIST (Steppenwolf Garage), the world premiere of Scott Kaiser's SHAKESPEARE'S OTHER WOMEN (Island Shakespeare Festival), the Chicago premiere of Suzanne Heathcote's I SAW MY NEIGHBOR ON THE TRAIN AND I DIDN'T EVEN SMILE (Redtwist), and the Seattle premiere of Annie Baker's JOHN (ArtsWest); Erin assisted Anna D. Shapiro on the world premiere productions of Tracy Letts' THREE SISTERS and MARY PAGE MARLOWE for Steppenwolf Theatre. Erin will direct her Kilroy’s List Awarded adaptation of Edmond Rostand's CYRANO DE BERGERAC featuring a trans/non-binary actor in the titular role for the 2021 Island Shakespeare Festival. Erin earned her MFA in Theatre Directing from Northwestern University, and BA in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College Dublin. Erin is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society.
Linnea valdivia (she/THEY)
Dramaturg and co-conspirator of GENDER PLAY.
Linnea is a professional freelance dramaturg, producer and playwright. She has credits at: the Lark, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, National Queer Theater, Curious Theatre, Art House Productions, Playwrights Realm and New Dramatists. Linnea is most interested in supporting and creating spaces for new work that re-imagine popular cultural narratives, challenge American folklore and explore histories that have undergone relentless historical erasure. She is based in Chicago where she is a
PhD student in Theatre and Drama at Northwestern University. Linnea is an alumnus of the 2019 National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and the 2019 POP Core Workshop at Playwrights Horizons. Linnea is most interested in writing and supporting stories that re-imagine popular cultural narratives, challenge American folklore and explore histories that have undergone relentless historical erasure.
Kathryn Walsh (She/Her)
Kathryn Walsh is a Chicago-based director, educator and person with many opinions about how we encounter and interpret Shakespeare. She has coached or taught Shakespeare’s text at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Theatreworks Colorado Springs, Remy Bumppo, Two Pence Theatre Co and James Madison University, as well as in many other independent workshops. Recent directing work includes MEASURE FOR MEASURE Theatreworks Colorado Springs and Beckett’s HAPPY DAYS at Flint Repertory Theatre in Flint, MI, where she is a proud Associate
Artist. Kathryn received her MFA in Directing from Northwestern University, where she has directed multiple productions, as well as teaching and serving as the Program Mentor for the MFA Directing Program from 2015-2109. She currently teaches at the University of Chicago and her next Shakespeare will be directing TWELFTH NIGHT this summer in Colorado Springs. Photos and information about upcoming work can be found at kathrynwalshdirector.com.
MARLA KELLY (She/Her)
Stage Manager for the GENDER PLAY residency at Island Shakespeare Festival. Marla is so incredibly honored to be involved in this reading! You might have seen them in the 2019 ISF season in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and you can also catch them in TITUS ANDRONICUS in this year’s season. She is currently a host and writer for Mast Media’s LATE KNIGHT and pursuing a degree in Film and Media at Pacific Lutheran University with a minor in Theatre.