Ophelia Chooses

by Buddy White
  • 70 minutes
  • 5M, 3F, Max/Min 8

Simple Set


“Ophelia Chooses” begins at Ophelia’s funeral. After perfunctory mourning by the cast of Hamlet, she is resurrected by a feminist from our time, who offers her the chance to live. Feminist Fay instructs Ophelia in the art of standing up for what she wants (and ultimately believes). This is done by revisiting all the scenes from Hamlet in which Ophelia appears.


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  • Review Script 11.97 Watermarked PDF Download
  • Hardcopy 15.95 Delivery 1- 3 Weeks
  • Multi-Copy PDF 75.00 Printable PDF for Cast/Crew
  • Class/Group Study 125.00 Printable PDF for Multiple Copies

Performance Fee $80.00 A Production License Fee Per Performance (mandatory for all performances)

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Play Details


Ophelia deals with her brother Laertes’ hypocritical concerns over her chastity, her father Polonius’ paternal manipulations, King Claudius’ use of her as a political pawn, Queen Gertrude’s insistence that she deceptively defer to the plans of men and Hamlet’s indifferent and dismissive treatment of her. Regaining Hamlet’s trust and love, she is questioned by Fay as to her motives. Shakespeare accosts Fay, accusing her of marring one of his finer creations, plunging Ophelia into an existential crisis as she discovers she is but a character in a play. Attempting to pull Ophelia from her depression, Shakespeare and Fay instead serve to empower her with the knowledge that her thoughts make her real and that her will has the force to change destiny. Thus armed, Ophelia strives to secure Hamlet’s love by helping him expose Claudius. Fay uses the ensuing tragic events to convince Ophelia that she doesn’t need Hamlet and that pursuing his love will result in her death. Ophelia rejects Fay’s claims and secures Hamlet’s love, but the juggernaut of Shakespeare’s plot continues as before. When Fay insists that Ophelia leave the world of the play in order to save herself, Ophelia exposes Fay’s own self-interests and manipulation, declaring that she will henceforth follow her own path. Fay leaves Ophelia, and when Hamlet ultimately rejects her love to fulfill his revenge against Claudius, Ophelia despairs over her loss and for even attempting change. Shakespeare convinces her not to give up and encourages her to escape from the play. Ophelia witnesses the deaths at the end of Hamlet, bids a painful farewell to all she knows and exits to brave the prospect of an unknown life outside of the play on her own terms.

In “Ophelia Chooses” playwright and feminist, Fay, mysteriously enters the world of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” to right the wrongs suffered by the character Ophelia. Using a mix of Shakespeare’s lines, some new iambic pentameter, and modern vernacular, Ophelia discovers her opportunity to grow as a woman. Ophelia becomes the architect of her own fate as she learns to stand up to those who would control her, including friends and foes (both classic and modern). She even ultimately confronts the Immortal Bard himself, revealing the short shrift given many heroines of literature and the complexities faced by modern women.

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