July 26 through August 13

Tuesday through Sunday at 8:00 PM


Orsino, the Duke of lllyria, is in love with his neighbour, the Countess Olivia. She has sworn to avoid men’s company for seven years while she mourns the death of her brother, so rejects him. Nearby a group of sailors arrive on shore with a young woman, Viola, who has survived a shipwreck in a storm at sea. Viola mourns the loss of her twin brother but decides to dress as a boy to get work as a page to Duke Orsino.

Despite his rejection Orsino sends his new page Cesario (Viola in disguise) to woo Olivia on his behalf. Viola goes unwillingly as she has already fallen in love at first sight with the duke. Olivia is attracted by the ‘boy’ and she sends her pompous steward, Malvolio, after him with a ring.

Olivia’s uncle, Sir Toby Belch, her servant Maria, and Sir Toby’s friend, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, who is also hoping to woo Olivia, and is being led on by Sir Toby, who is trying to fleece him of his money, all plot to expose the self-love of Malvolio. By means of a false letter they trick him into thinking his mistress Olivia loves him. Malvolio appears in yellow stockings and cross-garters, smiling as they have told him to in the letter. Unaware of the trick the Countess is horrified and has Malvolio shut up in the dark as a madman.

Meanwhile Viola’s twin brother, Sebastian, who has also survived the shipwreck, comes to Illyria. His sea-captain friend, Antonio, is a wanted man for piracy against Orsino. The resemblance between Cesario and Sebastian leads the jealous Sir Andrew to challenge Cesario to a duel. Antonio intervenes to defend Cesario whom he thinks is his friend Sebastian, and is arrested. Olivia has in the meantime met and become betrothed to Sebastian.

Cesario is accused of deserting both Antonio and Olivia when the real Sebastian arrives to apologise for fighting Sir Toby. Seeing both twins together, all is revealed to Olivia. Orsino’s fool, Feste, brings a letter from Malvolio and on his release the conspirators confess to having written the false letter. Malvolio departs promising revenge. Maria and Sir Toby have married in celebration of the success of their device against the steward.

The play ends as Orsino welcomes Olivia and Sebastian and, realising his own attraction to Cesario, he promises that once she is dressed as a woman again they, too, will be married.


Brandon Grimes as Laertes and Catherine DuPont as Ophelia


A Message from the Colonial Theatre Trustees:

Thank You to everybody who came to see HAMLET!

Audience says…

“Wonderful performance last night! Our whole family enjoyed it very much! The kids are asking to see it again and our 3 year old said ‘That was awesome!’.”

“I’ll be back Friday! With more friends! I’m excited!”

“My daughter and I enjoyed the show Sun night. I know she didn’t laugh once covering Shakespeare in school. Way more fun watching it. Thanks guys! Keep up great work.”

“It was a fantastic performance as usual! Thank you!”

“Awesome show tonight.”

“Coming back tonight because the show was so amazing last night. And I’m bringing friends. I love Shakespeare in the park.”

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Thank you to our 2016 Corporate Sponsors:

Pfizer Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Town of Westerly Westerly Public Library - Wilcox Park
Lawrence Memorial

Thank you to our one performance sponsors:

Chelsea Groton BankChelsea Groton BankOlde Mistick Village

Olde Mistick Village