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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

How are you? I am fine.

It's almost your birthday here in America. Happy birthday! Do you celebrate birthdays when you're dead? Is it weird that we celebrate your birthday? Do you measure time at all when you're dead? I am unsure. Are you in any discomfort? If so, I hope you don't measure time. Or maybe it would be better if you did. I am unsure.

I am currently, this moment, acting in a play you wrote: Hamlet. I think it's a very good play. My favorite part is the "What a piece of work is a man" monologue. I am playing Ophelia. She's a bit damp sometimes, but I guess it's a pretty good role. You should have written more stuff for women. I'm not sure what you really thought about us. All the tragic ones go mad and die. It gets a little repetitive after a while. I say this because I've kind of built half a career on your shoulders, so it's hard not to notice these things. I would like to play Hamlet one day, but everyone would make a big deal out of it because I'm a girl. I don't want to play him because I'm a girl; I want to play him because I think I get him. Ditto Richard III. His gender wasn't really your fault, though.

The last time I played Ophelia, my dad died. This time, my dad's dad died. Do you see them around? I don't really believe in an afterlife, but if you do see them, say hello for me.

People talk such a lot about Ophelia, which is funny, because she's not even on stage all that much, and she doesn't really do anything, aside from go mad and die. Hector Berlioz wrote Symphonie Fantastique after falling in love with an actress playing Ophelia, and he couldn't even understand what she was saying, being French and all. Did you know that already? Do you know everything when you're dead?

Anyway, happy birthday. I have a curtain call now. Thanks for your work.

P.S. What was your inspiration for writing Hamlet? Don't answer that, it was a joke question.