Meet the Hamlet Cast: Amy Hayes

July 11, 2014

AmyHayesAmy Hayes (Gertrude) studied acting
at Interlochen Center for the Arts,
Vanderbilt University, and received her
MFA from the University of Nebraska.
She continues to study at Shakespeare &
Company in Lenox, MA. She directed
Twelfth Night last year for IndyShakes
at Indyfringe, and will direct Jason and Medea
next Spring. Most recently she played several
roles in No Exit’s Middletown, Hermione in
IndyShakes’ The Winter’s Tale, Mrs. Samuelson
in a TV pilot with Rae Dawn Chong
(The Celebrant), and Jasmine in the premier
of Chris White’s Thaw at Indyfringe. She
teaches acting and directs a Shakespeare
festival at DePauw University. 


How is Gertrude like Amy and how are you different?

I am a mother.  I identify with Gertrude’s desire to connect with her child.  But I am more proactive as a parent, and I don’t think I would allow my new husband to dictate how I parent.  I also identify with Gertrude as a woman at this time in life: my experience of this age has been one of creative and personal Renaissance and discovery, and I believe Gertrude is experiencing just such an explosion.

What do you love (and hate) about Gertrude?

I love her passion.  I hate that in many ways she’s trapped: by her position, by her own insecurities, by her weakness.

What do you think will surprise people about AUP’s “The Tragedy of Hamlet”?

Lauren: a woman playing Hamlet as a woman, with all the complexity and conflict of any Hamlet you’ve seen, but with much more pathos, humor, and intention than perhaps you’ve seen before.  And Lauren’s Hamlet is very funny.  Who knew?

Why did you want to be involved in this production?

I wanted to work with Brian and with Lauren, as well as to meet and work with some other theatre artists in Indianapolis that I hadn’t met before.  I’m very grateful to be able to work on a role like Gertrude; classical theatre is my passion.

How is this production bringing something new to the story of Hamlet?

I’m enjoying watching the nuances unfold in the relationships and in the characters themselves.  I think this production is very, very clear.  We have Brian to thank for that.

Favorite line of dialogue:

This week, it’s:

Be thou assured, if words be made of breath,

And breath of life, I have no words to breathe

What thou hast said to me.

I’m still learning what it means, but for some reason it resonates with me and holds some key to the closet scene.

What makes a good scene partner?

Being willing to play, to respond to whatever’s happening, taking the stimulus, and being committed to making the other look good.  And a sense of humor.

Tell us about another cast member and what you enjoy about working with them.

I love working with Lauren because  she’s right in there with me.  She plays.  She’s flexible.  I trust her.  She has a good heart and a good mind and she brings it all on stage with her.

What was your very first stage production?

Angels, Lambs, Ladybugs, and Fireflies.  2nd grade musical.  I was a Ladybug.  I felt very responsible for the success of the show.

What inspires you?

Everything.  Life.  My family. Nature. Art. Good Books. Food. Sex. God.

When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?

Looking at lines, checking and answering my kids’ texts, playing Words with Friends, getting an acting pill (Altoid).

What do you do when you’re not doing theatre?

Cooking, reading, running kids around, gardening, producing (I guess that’s theatre), teaching (that’s theatre too).  Watching Game of Thrones.

What is the last thing you do before you step out on stage?


What would you tell someone who has never seen live Shakespeare about why they should come to this production?

It’s sexy.  It’s funny.  It’s thrilling.  It’s clear.  It’s a good cut :)


The Tragedy of Hamlet will be presented Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., July 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 (Sunday rain dates 13, 20, 27) at the outdoor Allen Whitehill Clowes Amphitheater on the campus of Marian University, 3200 Cold Spring Road, Indianapolis. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets may be purchased below or by calling the AUP box office at 317-207-2135 or online at Audience members will want to bring blankets or chairs. Candy, popcorn, soda and water will be provided for sale. The Tragedy of Hamlet is a summer production you won’t want to miss.