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'The Last White Man' runs from Oct. 14 through Oct. 30 at The Vault Theatre in Hillsboro.

COURTESY PHOTO: BAG & BAGGAGE PRODUCTIONS  - Khail Duggan and James Luster in 'The Last White Man' by Bill Cain. The play analyzes Shakespeare's legacy and the character of Hamlet through the lens of diversity.

Hillsboro's Bag&Baggage Productions is continuing its focus on Shakespeare this year with the latest production announced by the local professional theater company.

The new project is "The Last White Man," which explores the legacy of Shakespeare on contemporary theater by analyzing "Hamlet," specifically.

"It asks questions about why 'Hamlet' is considered so important and meaningful, and what putting a character like Hamlet in the center of the theater universe does to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), queer, and other non-white, non-male artists," said Bag&Baggage guest director Scott Palmer. "It is a play that asks a lot of questions and doesn't provide very many answers."

The play follows the story of Xandri, a Black, Oxbridge-educated playwright and director as she directs three white men in a production of "Hamlet." She aspires to direct the "perfect" production, so that "Hamlet" never has to be produced again.

Bag&Baggage says it has built its mission and reputation on deconstructing the notion of "classic" works of theater.

"'The Last White Man' is such a joyful love letter to theater, but it doesn't hold back," said Palmer. "I feel like Bill Cain, the playwright, is sort of saying, 'Welcome back to theater, friends. We've missed you, but … things are going to be different from now on, so hold onto your hats.'"

"The Last White Man" has a preview show Thursday, Oct. 13, with its main run from Oct. 14 through Oct. 30, at The Vault Theatre in Hillsboro, located at 350 E. Main St. Tickets range from $20 to $35, with options for discounted tickets.

Visit bagnbaggage.org to learn more.


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