HIDtroducing: Dr. Valerie Clayman Pye.

Hi, everyone! Hamlet Isn't Dead's Artistic Director David Andrew Laws here. I couldn't think of a clever hook or angle to bring you into this article (that's kind of our M.O. marketing-wise), but this is a really exciting announcement! So I thought I'd kick it back to the past with a good old-fashioned blog post and introduce to you the facts of the situation. (And isn't that deviation from the norm, in its own way, a clever hook? Alright, enough of that. On to the facts.)

Hamlet Isn't Dead is thrilled to introduce Dr. Valerie Clayman Pye, who will be directing our summer production of an all-female Henry V!


Dr. Pye (or, Valerie, as she insists we call her, but c'mon) is uh-MAZing. End of blog post. Go home.

No, but seriously, it is rare to meet an artist with whom we click so immediately, but Dr. Pye tuned into Hamlet Isn't Dead's ethos from the very start. From speaking with her in person to watching her speak at her book signing, it's been immediately clear that she leans toward the clever, clear, fourth-wall-demolishing brand of Shakespeare that we've championed for the past four years. Let's look into some of the nitty-gritty, shall we?

First of all, Valerie Pye has her MFA in Staging Shakespeare. How much more apropos can you get?? You're looking for a director, and someone goes, 'Hey, I have a degree in doing exactly that with exactly that guy's works'. How are you gonna top that? Well, how about with her PhD in Performance Practice??? Yup! Aaaaand she has an MFA in Acting, so you know she's good at communicating with her cast. How many degrees is that now? Valerie loves learning so much, she'd marry it if the current administration weren't so closed-minded. She's also kind enough to share the fruits of all that education at LIU, where she teaches acting and voice & speech. Those lucky kids....

Now, not only can she talk the talk, but you can walk a mile in Shakespeare's shoes thanks to her book, Unearthing Shakespeare, which is "the first book to look at what the Globe can teach us about performing Shakespeare anywhere". It's an amazing resource filled with exercises and insight you won't find anywhere else. Whether you're a scholar, a student, or anyone in between, you should do yourself a favor and click the link above.

And beyond all of that, past all the training and the accolades and the scholarship, Valerie's just a kind, lovely person with whom we're tremendously excited to be working. We know she's going to take wonderful care of our actors, of our production, and of the audience this summer. It's going to be a hot one (both in and out of the theatre), so stay cool, we'll bring you more details as they unfold.

Thanks for tuning in, HIDiots. Make sure you're ready for a powerful plethora of fighting females as Hamlet Isn't Dead presents Shakespeare's Henry V opening at Westbeth on July 29th.

All the best,
David Andrew Laws
Artistic Director, Hamlet Isn't Dead