I Am William by Rébecca Déraspe, translated by Leanna Brodie

Scirocco Drama

Regular price $15.95
I Am William by Rébecca Déraspe, translated by Leanna Brodie

Margaret Shakespeare, age 13, must write her remarkable plays in secret: it is 1577, and a girl who can read and write is in danger from the witch-hunters. After all, as her father keeps reminding her, a woman’s place is in the home…next to a big pile of laundry. Once the sweet but dim William discovers his sister’s astonishing talent, a chain of events is set in motion that will change both their lives forever. What happens to women of genius in a world that wants only their silence? Can a sister’s determination — and a brother’s unfailing love — really conquer all? Seamlessly translated from the original French by Leanna Brodie, this strikingly original play with music tackles the big feminist questions with wit, heart, and infectious energy. Winner of Quebec’s prestigious Prix de la critique and Prix Louise-Lahaye, Rébecca Déraspe’s I Am William has toured France, Spain, and the province of Quebec to great acclaim. This English version, commissioned by Theatre Le Clou, was also a hit at the Stratford Festival.

“CRITIC’S PICK: Fresh and delightful.” — Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail

“A clever, funny, and thoughtful family-friendly production that is sure to have theatre-goers of all ages engaging in meaningful conversations one minute, while singing a catchy ‘horse’ song to themselves the next.” — BroadwayWorld.com

I Am William radiates both charm and substance…Déraspe’s clever faux-Shakespeare could be the real thing in terms of rhythm and rhyme, and I stand in awe of the playwright’s long-time translator, Leanna Brodie, who rendered the lines into Shakespearean English.” — Paula Citron, ludwig-van.com

“Rébecca Déraspe has written a wonderful play in I Am William and it is beautifully translated by Leanna Brodie. The language dazzles. At times it seems we are witnessing linguistic gymnastics on the level of Simone Biles — words and syllables rhyme in triplicate. Women and girls are championed and credited with creativity and tenacity at a time when both were dangerous.” — The Slotkin Letter

“Balances lighthearted comedy with heartfelt emotion to explore themes of gender equality and societal oppression…If younger audience members can take just one lesson from I Am William, it’s this: true talent comes in all forms, sizes, genders and races.” — London Free Press

“The young protagonists of I Am William explicitly aspire to the total emancipation of girls and boys from our gendered expectations of them. A text as playful as it is intelligent, and as sensitive as it is politically engaged. Its sense of humour, among other things, ensures that the script never veers into the didactic, much less into moralizing” — JEU magazine

“Rébecca Déraspe offers us a brilliant text, blending truth and fiction in order to speak of love and the power of dreams.” — montheatre.qc.ca

“An inspiring play for all ages.” — Huffington Post


Cast size: 4 actors (doubling)
Female roles: 2
Male roles: 2