What You Will

What You Will by Wendy Hammond
Inspired by the characters in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

The play is set backstage during the First World Interfaith Conference for Peace, sponsored by Deepak Chopra, with speakers including Marianne Williamson, Rick Warren, and the Dalai Lama. Six students (Muslim, Jewish, Mormon, atheist, and agnostic) are spending spring break as conference volunteers. And learning a lot.


TOM: I'll put it like this: If Vardah cared about me the way I cared about her? I mean I would hold onto that like it's the most precious thing on the earth. Because two people truly in love with each other at the same time? How often does that happen?
MEL: My parents are truly in love.
TOM: OK, they're lucky. You're lucky. But I'm guessing you don't know many like them. So compare that to religion. I mean, the last 10 days around here? I can't keep track of all the religions people belong to. And then there's all the different denominations and sects! And then, everyone has unique personal beliefs and what's worse? People keep changing what they believe! And they hold several conflicting beliefs at the same time! I wish I could gather all two thousand plus people here at this convention, hook up each of their brains to a screen that shows what they're thinking, and then yell the word "God!" Out of two thousand people, there would be at least fifteen thousand pictures of God on those screens. Religions are not rare. Love is.
MEL: My religion is extremely rare. Because it's true.
TOM: But believing that is pretty common.

"I'm confident we'll be seeing this merry, vital, and relevant comedy again."
Tannenbaum, Creating Loafing / Read the full reviewFeature

What You Will was originally commissioned by Davidson College, and was made possible with support from The Bacca Foundation Vilsiting Lecture and Artist Program. The Bacca Foundation Program supports visits from distinguished scholars, visiting faculty, writers, performing artists, and professors of practice. The visits engage Davidson College students in innovative, stimulating,and meaningful ways. More about the playwright / director commission here.

Photography: Bill Giduz
Cast: Callan Gies, Bridget Lavender, Colin Bye, Riley Sloan, Deyanira Bowers, Matt Hunter