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The Island Players on Anna Maria Island, FL present ‘I Hate Hamlet’

The Island Players on Anna Maria Island, FL present ‘I Hate Hamlet’

| Laura Bell Adams |

The Island Players has a theater at 10009 Gulf Dr. Anna Maria Island, 34216 that has been showing plays for 70 seasons! Their third play this season is called “I Hate Hamlet” written by Paul Rudnick and runs from January 10th through the 27th, 2019.

You can purchase tickets for $20 at the box office which is open starting Wednesday, January 2 and from 9am-1pm Mondays – Saturdays. You can reserve tickets over the phone with a Visa, MasterCard or Discover at 941/778-5755. Performances are Tuesday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday matinee at 2pm. Box office opens one hour before the show.



This is a comedy about a TV star from LA, Andrew, who moves to New York after his series is cancelled. His agent, Lillian, encourages him to play Hamlet in Shakespeare in the Park but, Andrew Hates Hamlet!

The cast of 'I Hate Hamlet' playing at The Island Players on Anna Maria Island, FLThe cast (in order of appearance):

Carolyn Zaput – Felicia Dantine (Real Estate Broker)

Caleb Allen – Andrew Rally (TV Actor)

Katherine Dye – Deirdre McDavey (Andrew’s girlfriend)

Caroline Cox – Lillian Troy (Andrew’s agent)

James Thaggard – John Barrymore (Dead actor)

Brian Dewey – Gary Peter Lefkowitz (Writer-producer-director)

Caleb Allen and James Thaggard duel in 'I Hate Hamlet' at The Island Players on Anna Maria Island, FL


The actors in this show are excellent performers and will have you laughing throughout!

This show is directed by Preston Boyd who I was able to interview for this story.

SP: Please tell me what you do for a living (besides directing this play).

PB: I taught Drama and Music at Saint Stephen’s School in Bradenton for 24 years, retiring in 2014. I also taught Theatre classes at State College of Florida in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. But I have been fortunate to be able to supplement regular income as a musician, theatre director, and actor over the years.

SP: What is it about this play that drew you to want to direct it?

PB: I absolutely love Shakespeare’s play, “Hamlet”. When I first heard about Paul Rudnick’s play, “I Hate Hamlet”, the title amused me enough to check it out. In the late 1990’s, The State College of Florida (then called Manatee Community College) announced they would be staging a production and hired me to direct it. It was a delightful experience. When I heard that Island Players would be presenting it this season, I expressed my interest and …. the rest is history.

SP: How long have you been directing for The Island Players?

Calen Allen and Katherine Dye play Andrew and Deirdre in 'I Hate Hamlet' at The Island Players on Anna Maria Island, FLPB: I’ve been connected in some way to the Island Players since the 1980’s, as an associate director and music consultant. But my first official directing job was somewhere around the year 2000. Some of the shows I directed in that era were “Open Season”, “The Sensuous Senator”, “Greater Tuna”, “Over The Tavern”..and maybe one or two others. Last season (2017-2018), I directed “The Game’s Afoot”.

SP: Will you be directing any other plays for The Island Players this season?

PB: I’m not scheduled to direct anything else for the Island Players this season. Hopefully, I’ll do one next year though.

SP: Anything in particular you want to express to folks about this play?

PB: “I Hate Hamlet” isn’t just a story about a television actor who tries to be successful on the stage. It really speaks to something we all experience. We face challenges, we doubt our chances for success, we try anyway, we are rewarded by the very fact of trying. The character Andrew sums it up in one brief moment of passion directed to his girlfriend, Dierdre: “You believe in things. And you almost make me believe”.

Photos by The Sarasota Post and depositphotos.



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