University of Calgary

Why Not an Alumna as Hamlet?

Submitted by alumni on Wed, 11/02/2016 - 20:06.

Why Not an Alumna as Hamlet?

Recent grad Natasha Alexandra Strickey, BA’16, swaggered and sparred between last summer’s raindrops that cancelled Shakespeare by the Bow’s production of Hamlet, 13 times. But she was in good company with seven other UCalgary grads.
By Deb Cummings


Due to Calgary’s unprecedented monsoon-like summer, Shakespeare by the Bow’s recent production of Hamlet was cancelled 13 times, but Natasha Alexandra Strickey, BA’16, didn’t mind swaggering and sparring between the raindrops.

That is, until her final week, when she misjudged Brynn Linsey’s moves and got whacked by Laertes’ sword, fracturing her arm. Shortly after, while cradling a splint, the political science graduate popped by Alumni’s office, admitting that night the tears were unabashedly real.

As a drama student (her minor), “we were always told that acting isn’t pretending, it is being,” she laughs, adding the words of UCalgary professor Brian Smith came back to her that night when she realized, yet again, what he meant by, “you are yourself, but at a different address.”

No one was more surprised than Strickey when she landed the role of Hamlet, other than perhaps the five other women who were also cast in male roles — Horatio (Keshia Cheesman, BFA’16), Rosencrantz (Jesselle Lauren, BA’15), Guildenstern (Bianca Miranda, BFA’16) and Laertes (Brynn Linsey). In fact, eight young UCalgary alumni made up the joyful cast of 13 in this gender-bending production, directed by Kate Newby. U

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