“REMEMBER, THIS WASN’T OUR IDEA.” One of the pleasures of seeing I Hate Hamlet was watching Ward Whipple play the Hollywood agent. Ward is now an accomplished actor with great range. I first met Ward when he was playing Alonso, the King of Naples in the Tempest. Ward was kingly and somber in that role—a far cry from a Hollywood agent. I was playing Gonzalo, an honest old councillor, in the same production. Ward and I had been recruited for the parts by Ruth Anne Baumgartner. We were both late replacements for actors who were forced to drop out. I was cast, I am sure, because it is hard to find men with white hair who are willing to learn lines at the last minute. Every performance, as we waited to go on, and for me to begin to comfort the grieving Alonso (“Beseech you, sir, be merry…”), Ward would reassure me: “Remember, this wasn’t our idea.”

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