Becky Sharp never blushes. As the wily Becky and her gentle friend Amelia scale social ladders and hurdle the whims of fate, only one question matters: how do you get what you want in life? A bright dance hall pageant poking fun at all our pretenses, this new adaptation harnesses the frivolity of Thackeray’s novel while recasting its (anti) heroines as complex, vibrant women, delivering “a gift to actors and a goody bag for its audience” (The New York Times). Acclaimed playwright Kate Hamill (Sense and Sensibility, The Wall Street Journal’s Playwright of the Year 2017) brings her signature quick wit and distinctly unfussy retelling of classic work to one of literature’s most celebrated novels.
“FAST-PACED and FUN…lavishly produced and directed with creative verve.” –DC Metro Theater Arts
“STRENUOUSLY COMIC…Becky Sharp returns with razzmatazz.” –The Washington Post
“HILARIOUS…a pleasure to watch for its theatrical artistry as much as for its smart retelling of this story.” –MD Theatre Guide
“DYNAMIC…a breath of fresh air.” –BroadwayWorld
“CHARMING…Director Jessica Stone is working here with seven bountifully talented actors on a picture-book set by Alexander Dodge.” –Talkin’ Broadway
“A WELL-OILED MACHINE…the performances are grand and the pacing and tone spot-on.” –Brightest Young Things
“UNAPOLOGETICALLY SLAPSTICK…a hyperactive love affair between a morality play and a burlesque musical review.” –K Street Magazine
“UPROARIOUS…a madcap romp that will keep you in stitches.” –Whisk and Quill
“AN EXCELLENT CAST…a farcical and witty delight.” –PG County Sentinel
“PLAYFUL…strenuously physical comedy enlivens the stage.” –Culpeper Times
“Jessica Stone’s direction proves nimble and incisive, never neglecting giving the audience the time to see the heart of the characters.” –Two Hours’ Traffic
From the Playwright
Like so many of us, I’m in love with the classics and the universality of the stories they tell. But I have to say, it’s hard sometimes to see women constantly relegated to tertiary characters. So often, women are only playing the wives and the girlfriends and the prostitutes of the hero on his journey. I believe very deeply that women’s stories are universal stories, and that we can connect as deeply with a female protagonist as we can with a male protagonist.
The women of Vanity Fair are complex and very different people – but their approach to the patriarchal rules of their world is sometimes flawed, sometimes admirable, and altogether human. I was particularly interested in how Becky and Amelia are punished both for breaking the rules and for obeying the rules; for having ambition and for not having ambition; for having agency and for not having agency. The system is designed to keep them down, and the only way they can overcome it is to bond together. So in the end, this is also a story about deep female friendship.
This is one of the few stage adaptations that’s ever been done of Vanity Fair because it’s a grand and gorgeous novel on an epic scale – about 1600 pages – and it really requires a theatre that’s willing to take on those giant stories, that’s eager to examine how they’re still universal and why they still matter. Lucky for us, Shakespeare Theatre Company is one of those places.
All titles, artists and dates subject to change.
VANITY FAIR trailer
Q&A with Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan
VANITY FAIR Production Photos
Asides: VANITY FAIR
VANITY FAIR Open Rehearsal Photos
Prosecast: VANITY FAIR
VANITY FAIR Rehearsal Photos
VANITY FAIR First Rehearsal
Q&A with Kate Hamill and Jessica Stone
Bildungswoman by Drew Lichtenberg, Literary Manager
VANITY FAIR teaser video
VANITY FAIR: Meet Kate Hamill and Jessica Stone
NEW YORK: The Pearl Theatre Company: A Taste of Honey; Irish Repertory Theatre: The Burial at Thebes. REGIONAL: Signature Theatre: Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing; Westport Country Playhouse: The Liar; Yale Repertory Theatre: Arcadia (Connecticut Critics Circle Award, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play); Actors Theatre of Louisville: Our Town; American Conservatory Theater: Arcadia, Dead Metaphor (World Premiere), A Christmas Carol, Elektra (with Olympia Dukakis), Happy To Stand; California Shakespeare Theater: Romeo and Juliet, Blithe Spirit; The Gift Theatre: The Children; Kingsmen Shakespeare Company: The Winter’s Tale, The Comedy of Errors. FILM: Bridge of Spies (with Tom Hanks, directed by Steven Spielberg), The Chaperone. TELEVISION: Divorce, The Knick, The Mysteries of Laura, The Slap, Jessica Jones. TRAINING: Rince na Tiarna School of Irish Dance, American Conservatory Theater: MFA and Sadler Award. OTHER: LU4TC!
NEW YORK: Off-Broadway: The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park: Julius Caesar. REGIONAL: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival: Rip Van Winkle; or, Cut the Old Moon into Stars; Santa Cruz Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like It, The Beard of Avon; New Swan Shakespeare Festival: Hamlet, As You Like It. OTHER: Workshops: JAGFest: the journey between (by Korde Arrington Tuttle); The Sol Project’s SolFest: Bees and Honey (by Guadalís Del Carmen); LAByrinth Barn Series; New Works Now at Northern Stage: Citrus. TRAINING: University of California, Irvine: MFA in Acting. WEB: Maribel-Martinez.com; Instagram: @instamarbles.
STC: King Charles III (James Reiss); REGIONAL: American Conservatory Theater: The Birthday Party; Hamlet; Ah, Wilderness!; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead; The Cherry Orchard; The Rivals; Berkeley Repertory Theatre: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Dinner With Friends; Yale Repertory Theatre: Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3); Huntington Theatre: The Way of the World, Mary Stuart; California Shakespeare Theater: As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Man and Superman, Nicholas Nickleby; Arizona Theatre Company: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Dirty Blonde; San Jose Repertory Theatre: A Flea in Her Ear, This Wonderful Life; Marin Theatre Company: Othello, Anne Boleyn; TheatreWorks: Upright Grand, The Twentieth Century, The 39 Steps; Ford’s Theatre: Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Helen Hayes Award Nomination).
REGIONAL: Berkeley Repertory Theatre: Macbeth; Marin Theatre Company: Shakespeare in Love, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Native Son, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, The Whale; San Francisco Playhouse: Stupid F**king Bird; Shotgun Players: Dry Land; Cutting Ball Theater: Uncle Vanya. TRAINING: Foothill Theatre Conservatory; Seydways Acting Studios.
NEW YORK: Off-Broadway: New York Theatre Workshop: Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (dir. Rachel Chavkin), Othello (starring Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo, dir. Sam Gold); Dessert (dir. Whitney White); Theater Breaking Through Barriers: The Artificial Jungle; Theatre Row: Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest; The Apothetae / The Public: The Penalty; Queens Theatre: A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Joe’s Pub: All The Rats & Rags. NATIONAL TOUR: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Doug Panch). REGIONAL: Hartford Stage: Henry V; American Conservatory Theater: Nike, or We Don’t Need Another Hero. FILM: Mapplethorpe (starring Matt Smith; Tribeca Film Festival), Anomaly, Pop Meets the Void. TELEVISION: Broad City, Homeland, The Knick, Half Life (Pilot).
NEW YORK: Broadway: Thomas The Tank Engine Live On Stage. Off-Broadway: La MaMa: Agamemnon. REGIONAL: Round House Theatre: How I Learned to Drive, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Helen Hayes Award, Best Lead Actress in a Play), Becky Shaw; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Gloria, Botticelli in the Fire; Kennedy Center: Digging Up Dessa; Mosaic Theater Company: The Return; Olney Theatre Center: Fickle: A Fancy French Farce, Bad Dog (Helen Hayes Nomination, Outstanding Ensemble); Ford’s Theatre: Come From Away (Helen Hayes Nomination, Best Supporting Actress in a Musical; Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Ensemble); Imagination Stage: The Night Fairy; Folger Theatre: Richard III; No Rules Theatre Company: Late: A Cowboy Song, Stop Kiss; Studio Theatre: Contractions; Theater J: The History Of Invulnerability; Baltimore Center Stage: The Container; American Shakespeare Center: more than 30 productions including 15 of Shakespeare’s canon. FILM: Kringle Time (2019). TRAINING: STC’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University: MFA.
REGIONAL: American Conservatory Theater: A Walk on the Moon (Irv / Ensemble), Hamlet (Guildenstern), A Christmas Carol (Thomas); San Francisco Playhouse: Washed Up on the Potomac (Mark). TRAINING: American Conservatory Theater: MFA in Acting; Le Moyne College: BA in Theatre. OTHER: Orson Welles/Shylock—A Docu-Fantasy Radio Play (Orson Welles) with The Shylock Project in Venice, Italy; St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival; Toronto Fringe Festival; Franklin Stage Company.
Kate Hamill is an actor / playwright, specializing in female-centered, feminist adaptations of the classics. Playwright of the Year, 2017 – Wall Street Journal. Her plays include Sense and Sensibility (in which she originated the role of Marianne) - Winner, Off-Broadway Alliance Award; Nominee, Drama League Award (Best Revival); 265+ performances off-Broadway. Other plays include Vanity Fair (in which she originated the role of Becky Sharp; Nominee, Off-Broadway Alliance Award), Pride and Prejudice (in which she originated the role of Lizzy Bennet; WSJ Critic’s Pick, Best Theater of 2017 – Huffington Post) In the Mines (Sundance Lab semi-finalist), Em (Red Bull New Play finalist), Little Fellow (O’Neill semi-finalist). Additional acting credits include: The Seagull (Bedlam; "best classical productions of 2014" - WSJ) Cyrano (Amphibian Stage), Dreams of A West Texas Marsupial Girl (PearlDamour), Three Mutants (PearlDAmour) Upstairs (New School), Separation Rapid (Chenango River Theatre), Walk Two Moons (Theatreworks), Good Person of Szechwan; The Nameday Party (Columbia Stages), and numerous independent films. Her plays have been produced off-Broadway with Primary Stages, Bedlam, and with the Pearl Theatre Company; at A.R.T., the Guthrie Theatre, Seattle Rep, PlayMaker’s Rep, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Folger Theatre (8 Helen Hayes Award nominations; Winner, best production - S&S) & others. Current productions running at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arvada Center, & more. She is currently working on new adaptations of Mansfield Park, Little Women, and The Odyssey, as well as several new original plays - including Love Poem, In the Mines, and Prostitute Play. She was one of 2016’s top 20 most-produced playwrights; Sense and Sensibility was one of the top 10 most-produced plays. http://www.kate-hamill.com
REGIONAL: Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Old Globe, Huntington Theatre Company, Two River Theatre Company, Bucks County Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, among others. Productions include: Barefoot in the Park, Dancing at Lughnasa, Bad Dates, Ken Ludwig’s Robin Hood! (World Premiere), Ripcord, Bad Jews, Arms and the Man, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Charlotte’s Web, June Moon, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Absurd Person Singular, As You Like It (upcoming at The Old Globe).
STC: The Panties, The Partner and The Profit; The School for Lies; Henry IV, Part 1 and 2; Measure for Measure; The Heir Apparent; The Liar; The Dog in the Manger. NEW YORK: Broadway: Anastasia (Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations), Present Laughter (Tony Award Nomination), Old Acquaintance, Butley, Hedda Gabler. Off-Broadway: Vineyard / Minetta Lane: Harry Clarke; Manhattan Theatre Club: Ripcord; Second Stage: Lips Together Teeth Apart, Modern Terrorism, All New People, Trust, The Water’s Edge; Playwrights Horizons: Rapture Blister Burn, Maple and Vine; Roundabout Theatre Company: The Understudy; Public Theater: Measure for Pleasure, Paris Commune; Lincoln Center: Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Toward the Somme (Lucille Lortel Award), Chaucer in Rome. INTERNATIONAL: La Jolla Playhouse / Paper Mill Playhouse /Tokyo / Berlin: Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame; London West End / Manchester / Glasgow: All New People. OPERA: Metropolitan Opera: Samson et Dalila; L.A. Opera: The Ghosts of Versailles; Minnesota Opera: Dinner At Eight, Cosi Fan Tutti; Deutsche Oper Berlin: Il trittico; Hungarian State Opera-Budapest: Lohengrin. TELEVISION: Julie’s Greenroom (starring Julie Andrews; Netflix). TRAINING: Yale School of Drama.
STC: Affiliated Artist; Twelfth Night, King Charles III, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Richard II, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Tamburlaine, Richard III. NEW YORK: Broadway: Sweat. Off-Broadway: Shakespeare in the Park: Love’s Labour’s Lost; Public Theater: Mlima’s Tale, Sweat, Tiny Beautiful Things; Playwrights Horizons: Aubergine; Second Stage Theater: Cardinal; Signature Theatre: Dance and the Railroad. REGIONAL: Washington National Opera: Candide, La Bohème; Studio Theatre: Bachelorette, Venus in Fur; Guthrie Theater: Romeo and Juliet, King Lear; Old Globe: The Last Goodbye; McCarter Theatre Center: The How and the Why; Williamstown Theatre Festival: Six Degrees of Separation; Yale Repertory Theatre: The Winter’s Tale. TRAINING: Yale School of Drama: MFA.
NEW YORK: Broadway: The Price, Stephen King’s Misery, Romeo and Juliet, Dead Accounts, Grace, Godspell, The Normal Heart, reasons to be pretty, Butley, The Real Thing, Dinner at Eight, Betrayal. Off-Broadway: The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, MCC Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Theatre for a New Audience, Vineyard Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company. REGIONAL: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, McCarter Theatre Center, Huntington Theatre Company, American Repertory Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre. OTHER: Theme Parks: Frozen at Hyperion Theater, Disney California Adventure Park. Music Festivals: Site Lighting Director for Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Grandoozy. Numerous projects including Michelin Star award-winning Cote NYC. AWARDS: Three Lucille Lortel Awards (Guards at the Taj, Through a Glass Darkly, Rodney’s Wife); LA Ovation Award (Venice); Drama Desk Nomination (Small Fire); Seven American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award Nominations. WEB: DavidWeinerDesign.com.
NEW YORK: Off-Broadway: Mint Theater Company: The Price of Thomas Scott; Playwrights Horizons: I Was Most Alive With You; Manhattan Theatre Club: Actually; Theatre for a New Audience: Measure for Measure, The Killer; National Black Theatre: Blood; Rattlestick Playwrights Theater / The Women’s Project: Ironbound; Repertorio Español: In the Time of the Butterflies; New York Theatre Workshop: Red Dog Howls. REGIONAL: Hartford Stage: Engagement Party, Rear Window; Capital Rep: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; Cleveland Play House: Sweat; Triad Stage: A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Northern Stage: Oslo, Dear Elizabeth; Williamstown Theatre Festival: The Closet; The Old Globe: The Wanderers; Mark Taper Forum: Water by the Spoonful; Two River Theater: El Coqui Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom; Cincinnati Playhouse / Milwaukee Repertory Theater: Jane Eyre; Hudson Valley Shakespeare Theater: The General from America; Tantrum Theater: Caroline or Change; Arena Stage: Intelligence; Asolo Repertory Theatre: 4000 Miles; Dorset Theatre Festival: The Whipping Man; Denver Center: The Catch. INTERNATIONAL: International Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland): The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. AWARDS: Drama Desk Award, Connecticut Critics Circle Award, Henry Award, Bessie Award, Premios Asociación de Cronistas del Espectáculo (2012), National Endowment for the Arts / Theatre Communications Group Career Development Grant, Meet the Composer Grant. OTHER: Member of USA 829, TSDCA. TRAINING: Harvard University; Yale School of Drama: MFA in Sound Design / Sound Engineering.
NEW YORK: Broadway: Beetlejuice. Off-Broadway: Roundabout Theatre Company: The Robber Bridegroom (Astaire Award, Lortel Best Revival); The Public Theater: Into the Woods (Assistant Director / Choreographer). NATIONAL TOURS: Kennedy Center / Madison Square Garden: Elf the Musical; The Magic School Bus (Director). REGIONAL: Disney Creative Entertainment: Beauty and the Beast, Tangled (World Premiere); Two River Theatre: Dancing at Lughnasa; Bucks County Playhouse: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Philadelphia Theatre Company: Found; Denver Center: The Twelve; Westport Country Playhouse; Goodspeed Opera House; TheatreWorks; The Maltz Jupiter; Northern Stage; Mint Theater Company. OTHER: Spent a year on Broadway as a dancing rug. TRAINING: University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music: BFA. WEB: ConnorGallagher.com.
NEW YORK: Broadway: The Light in the Piazza (Artios Award Nomination), Lennon, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Taking Sides (co-cast). Off-Broadway: True Love, Floyd Collins, The Monogamist, A Cheever Evening, Later Life. REGIONAL: American Conservatory Theater: Men on Boats, Sweat, Hamlet, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Hard Problem, King Charles III, John, Arcadia, Stuck Elevator, The Orphan of Zhao, Napoli!, Endgame, Play; Intiman Theatre; Seattle Repertory Theatre; California Shakespeare Theater; Berkeley Repertory Theatre; Yale Repertory Theatre; Goodman Theatre; Steppenwolf Theatre Company; The Old Globe; American Repertory Theater. FILM: The Deal, Advice from a Caterpillar. TELEVISION: Cosby, Tracey Takes on New York. OTHER: Radio: The Day That Lehman Died (Peabody, SONY, Wincott Awards), “T” Is for Tom (Tom Stoppard Radio Plays, WNYC, WQXR), LifeAfter (GE Theater podcast).
STC: The Secret Garden (co-production with 5th Avenue Theatre). REGIONAL: Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences; Arena Stage; Signature Theatre; Theater Alliance; Keegan Theatre; MetroStage; Guthrie Theater; The Road Theatre Company; Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum. TELEVISION: Elemental: Hydrogen Vs. Hindenburg (National Geographic). OTHER: Private Coach / workshop development; Member: Voice and Speech Trainers’ Association. TEACHING: University of Maryland: Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies Department (Assistant Professor of Voice, Speech, and Acting); CalArts; Stella Adler Academy; Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama; The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama; University of Washington (Professional Actor Training Program, MFA); University Of Minnesota / Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program. TRAINING: Royal Central School of Speech and Drama: MFA in Voice Studies; Boston University: BFA in Acting; Linklater Voice Designation; Colaianni Speech Practitioner.
STC: Vanity Fair (Assistant Director); Richard the Third (Directorial Assistant); The Panties, The Partner, and The Profit (Directorial Assistant); The Comedy of Errors (Assistant Director); Romeo and Juliet (2018 Free For All: Directing Fellow). REGIONAL: Barrington Stage Company: West Side Story (Assistant Director), The Cake (Assistant Director); Wilma Theater: Directing Observer: Passage, Passing Strange, Blood Wedding. TRAINING: Columbia University: BA in Drama & Theatre Arts.
REGIONAL: STC: Midsummer Night’s Dream (tour to Macau Arts Festival), Kiss Me Kate (extension stage manager) Seattle Repertory Theatre: Two Trains Running (co-production with Arena Stage), Luna Gale, Romeo and Juliet, Jitney, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Great Gatsby, Clybourne Park, Doubt, The Road to Mecca, Private Lives. Seattle Children’s Theatre: Go, Dog. Go!, Getting Near to Baby, The Hundred Dresses; South Coast Repertory: Glengarry Glen Ross, Prelude to a Kiss, She Stoops to Folly, Holy Days. Seattle Children’s Theatre, 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Company. INTERNATIONAL: Singapore Festival of the Arts with South Coast Repertory: Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Misalliance; Edinburgh International Festival and Sadler’s Wells Theatre (London) with Pacific Northwest Ballet. OPERA: Seattle Opera: Wagner’s Ring Cycle (1995, 2000-2013), An American Dream, Don Carlos, Lohengrin, Tosca, Lucia di Lammermoor, and many more; BALLET: Pacific Northwest Ballet: The Four Temperaments, Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jardí Tancat, Lambarena, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, and many more. TRAINING: College of Marin and California State University at Long Beach: BA in Theatre Arts.
STC: Vanity Fair; The Panties, The Partner and The Profit. REGIONAL: Baltimore Center Stage: Men on Boats, Miss You Like Hell | Rep Stage: The 39 Steps | Studio Theatre: If I Forget, Vietgone, Wig Out! | Theatre J: Becoming Dr. Ruth | The Second City: Twist Your Dickens | Mosaic Theater Company: Satchmo at the Waldorf | American Conservatory Theater: A Christmas Carol; Love and Information; Mr. Burns, a post-electric play. PERSONAL: she/her/hers | Training: University of Maryland, College Park: BA in Theatre.
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.