In Paul Rudnick’s I Hate Hamlet, television star Andrew Rally is about to start rehearsals to play Hamlet—and he is terrified. Unsure of himself, worried about his career, Andrew doesn’t know what to do. In the midst of his confusion, he is visited by the ghost of legendary actor John Barrymore. Barrymore explains that all actors who take on the role are visited and mentored by their predecessors, and that he cannot leave Andrew until he takes the stage as Hamlet. Andrew’s girlfriend wants him to be a romantic hero of the stage, his friend wants him to accept a lucrative new TV gig, and Barrymore wants him to accept his own great theatrical mantle. As Andrew grows under Barrymore’s larger-than-life wing, he is forced to confront the ultimate question: who he wants to be, or not to be.
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