Leigh and Melissa Present: Hamlette! A Show by Two Ladies at 95 Empire

Hamlette! photo by Jack Smooth
Leigh and Melissa Present: Hamlette! photo by Jack Smooth

Leigh and Melissa Present: Hamlette!

A world premiere written and performed by Providence comedians Melissa Bowler and Leigh Hendrix

Providence theatre artists Melissa Bowler and Leigh Hendrix are pleased to present Leigh and Melissa Present: Hamlette! as part of the Residence@95 program at 95 Empire. Created and workshopped over the past 18 months, Leigh and Melissa Present: Hamlette! will have its world premiere run September 20th to September 30th, Thursdays through Sundays at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $10 and Sundays are pay-what-you-can. For more information visit www.as220.com/95-empire.

Leigh and Melissa Present: Hamlette! is the story of two women named Leigh and Melissa, who are office mates trapped in tedious and unrewarding jobs. Leigh is a struggling actor who hasn’t been cast in a play since college and Melissa is a stand-up comic who stopped performing, but can’t give up the dream. In an effort to escape the tedium and fight for their true ambitions, Leigh and Melissa surreptitiously create and rehearse a two-woman Hamlet in their office every night after their co-workers have gone home. By taking advantage of empty cubicles and plentiful legal pads, they attempt to overcome their current lot in life while launching their show business careers.

“The show is essentially about two friends trying to make something together. It’s about friendship, which obviously parallels our own process in creating the show,” Hendrix explains. Melissa adds, “This show makes fun of us and how seriously we take ourselves. We chose to set the piece in an office, and made it about making theater because it’s something we both know, but I think everyone can relate to the stress of taking life too seriously.”

Bowler and Hendrix first discovered their love of performing together while playing Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in Theatre of Thought’s production of Matt and Ben in early 2011. By November of that year, they’d created an early iteration of this show, then titled Leigh and Melissa. In May 2012 they presented a workshop production of Leigh and Melissa Present: Hamlette! at 95 Empire to enthusiastic audiences, who were eager to provide feedback and clamored for more.

An actor and playwright, Melissa Bolwer has been performing improv since 2002, is currently a member of Improv Jones and director of the Providence Improv Guild. She also performs and writes sketch comedy for The Empire Revue and was recently seen in The Wilbury Group’s acclaimed production of Exit the King.

Leigh Hendrix is a solo performer and actor who created and toured the show How To Be A Lesbian in 10 Days or Less. She is developing a new solo piece Studies of a Story: You Just Need a Little Lipstick, and is always available to perform awkward story- dances about her life.

Leigh and Melissa Present: Hamlette! September 20 – 23 and 27 – 30 at 8pm at the 95 Empire Black Box in Providence. Tickets are $10 and Sundays are pay-what- you can. For tickets and more information visit www.as220.org/95-empire

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