An intriguing journey for anyone who loves Shakespeare’s works or treasures the intimate artistry of solo theatre, Shakespeare’s Will provides a memorable dramatic portrait of a woman who deserves history’s listening ear. Thankfully, the play doesn’t rely on only documented facts as it would be a very short monologue indeed. Instead, Quantum Theatre brings Anne to life in a moving and musical 90-minute, one-woman show. This inventive regional premiere runs through Dec. 1 at West Homestead United Methodist Church.
As Anne, the stellar Sheila McKenna recounts Canadian playwright Vern Theissen’s imagined adventure of love lost and found. Appropriately, the ocean looms as large in Shakespeare’s Will as it does in the Bard’s canon.
McKenna’s wise and wry characterization of Anne provides a hypothetical glimpse of the Shakespeares’ relationship. The marriage was largely filled with a void: William’s 23-year-run of theatre work in London. Here, Anne is home alone again, just after his death, anticipating the contents of his last will and testament. As actors are wont to do in solo shows, she shares her most personal memories with an audience of strangers through her monologues. -Yvonne Hudson, Pittsburgh in the Round