One Woman Hamlet
Shake(speare) the stigma surrounding mental health

One Woman Hamlet is a glimpse into the mind of Kate, the show’s creator, which has been written over three and a half years, supervised by mental health professionals, and from the heart of a creative who has dealt with mental health struggles her whole life. 
Watch Hamlet come to life anew and break the stigma surrounding mental health, with the use of loop stations, puppets, projections, music, and audience interaction (with the option to wear a safety token should you wish not to participate), and of course, fun. Together, we can realize that It’s O.K Not To Be O.K. 

Admission is free (but donations are appreciated), since One Woman Hamlet is independently funded and any additional support makes a huge difference. Your contributions will make it possible for Kate to bring One Woman Hamlet throughout Chicago (6 free performances in various locations), and eventually, into Chicago Public Schools under the supervision of the show’s partner Hope For The Day, an organization that achieves suicide prevention through mental health education and outreach.

About The Creator.

Meet Kate. (Writer, Creator, Producer, Composer, and Performer):
Like so many others, Kate has had an intense journey with her own mental health and has lost many friends to suicide and depression. All of this inspired her to create One Woman Hamlet to create art that educates people and inspires conversation surrounding mental health. Her hope is that people can can better understand their own mental health and find the same peace and freedom she has found through art and education. 

Kate works as a Community Outreach Coordinator with her company, One Year Chekhov, and has been fostering a relationship with Hope For The Day through this company for the past year.

Kate holds a B.A. in theater and a minor in music. Since arriving in Chicago seven years ago, she has continued her training extensively, working mainly as a classical performer throughout the city. You may have seen her most recent work in Chicago Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew. But One Woman Hamlet will be her most personal and uplifting performance yet, as she shares training and love of puppets, Shakespeare, music, and mental health with you.

The Collaborators

Puppet Designer: Noah Ginex

Noah Ginex has been building creatures amd props around Chicagoland and across the country since 2003. A Joseph Jefferson Award Nominated puppet designer for the Avenue Q with Night Blue Entertainment,  Noah has also built creatures for Threadless, the Masters film program at FSU, the USNA Glee Club, and the Juno-Award Winning Barenaked Ladies to name a few, as well as producing his own show SNORF for three years. When not building, Noah can be seen hosting the quarterly Nasty Brutish and Short Puppet Cabaret with Rough House Theater.  Find out more at or google.

Puppet Director: Vanessa Valliere

Vanessa S. Valliere performs with Manual Cinema in their productions of Ada/Ava and End of TV. Manual Cinema is a Chicago based cinematic shadow puppetry company with whom Vanessa has traveled to Berlin, China, The Netherlands and Belgium. Vanessa also performed for six years as a member of an ensemble of performers for Tour De Fat, a national touring festival. She has performed in Chicago with the Neo-Futurists and The New Colony and she has toured with Theater Unspeakable, a Chicago based physical theater company. Vanessa also devises her own solo shows, which she frequently presents in Chicago as well as other locations across the United States. She was in the 2017 & 2018 National Puppetry Slam, was the recipient of a 2017 3Arts Make A Wave grant, and received a grant from the IACA for her work on her full-length solo puppet show, The Visitor. Vanessa has performed with Big Nazo puppet company in Providence, RI and she is a proud nerd-cheerleader for Chicago’s thirty-piece circus punk marching band: Mucca Pazza. For more info:

Director: Drew Shirley

Drew Shirley is a director who lives in Chicago with his wife Erika, and his giant mastiff Birdie.  He has won the outstanding director award for Dennis Lehane’s (mystic river) “Coronado” from StageSceneLA.  He has directed Shakespeare and Sartre and Chekhov across the country and most recently Southwest Shakespeares “Macbeth”.
He is currently directing for The Comrades theater company, THE LAYOVER a play by Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) at the Greenhouse Theater Center February 20- March 22,2020.

Film Director: Dylan Stuckey

Dylan Stuckey is honored to collaborate with Kate on this incredible project. He has been working as an independent photographer and cinematographer in Chicago for last five years. More of his work can be viewed on his website:

Script Editor: Benjamin Lapean (And Drew Shirley, see above).

Benjamin is a writer who lives in Chicago with his incredible wife, Kate Smith. His writing typically focuses on the moral ambiguity of human nature, but currently, he is working on a TYA musical with fellow collaborator and musical genius, Aaron Davidson. 

Special Thanks! 

Thank you so much to all of the individuals, local businesses, and donors who made this show possible. Without each and every one of you One Woman Hamlet would not have been possible. Thank you for believing in Mental Health awareness and for believing in One Woman Hamlet! 

Individuals: Benjamin Lapean (Script Editor), Drew Shirley (Script Editor), Roberta Duchak (Vocal Coach), Jenny Lynn Christoffersen (Promotional Videos), Susan Morlock (Professional Counselor), Jill Best & Bill Best (Website Developers), Margo Bartler & Joe Siwak (Graphic Image Design), Courtney Abbott (Performer), Micheal Angelo Smith (Performer), Josh Bernaski (Performer), Aaron M. Davidson (Performer) 

Businesses: Dark Matter, Hope For The Day, The Flowerman, Smack Dab, Treble on The L, Dan Plehal Acro Yoga Instructor, Straub Handmade, Glenwood Dance Studio, New 400 Theater, About Face, Metro Yoga, First Ascent Climbing Gym, Yogaloft, Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours, Timeline Theater Company Donors: Barry Fultz, Aaron Davidson, Iris Kohler, Ander Saenz, Patricia Smith, Misty Davidson, Benjamin Lapean, Lindsay Brown, Sam Attaguile, Kylie Stack,Gail Harder, Jillian Best, Bill Best, Jameson Lapean, Eric D., Judy Smith, Miriam Reuter , David Meldman, Lindsay Brown, Amy Morris, Dan Plehal, Jim McCaffrey, Andrew Embry, Jake Smith, Josh Bernaski, Sarah Hecht, Tamsen Glaser, Andrew Canada, Tommy Lukrich, Jane and Steve Smith, Laura Durham, Brian Scannell, Skyler Schrempp, Elodie Senetra, Liz Rao, Oscar Villa, Hunter and Lori Johnson, Laureen Siciliano, Ronald Roman, Zoe Benditt, Richi Schiraldi, Emily Molloy, Brittany Anderson, Mary Oconnor, Bridget Walsh Davis,Criswell Davis, Sharon