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In about two minutes, you may think to yourself, "I got to get to Philadelphia!"

Why?

The woman in the above picture is British-African actress Zainab Jah.


(It's pronounced "zay-nub jaw.")

Zainab is a spectacular human who has acted on TV and in movies, but currently she can be seen on stage at The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia.

She's performing in a production of Shakespeare's "Hamlet." *As* Hamlet.

She's one of the first (actually, at least the second!*) black woman ever to play the conflicted Prince of Denmark, making history in the theater world.

Shakespeare in a new light.

It's also probably the first time a black woman has played Hamlet in anything, anywhere in the professional theater world, but I could be wrong.*

*NOTE (12/16/2015): We were wrong, and we were delighted to note in a previous update (4/27/2015) that actress Melody Garrett shared the role of Hamlet in an all-student production of the play in 1992 at Yale Repertory Theatre. Thanks to Flora Stamatiades, with a confirmation from Yale Repertory's director of communications Steven Padla, we can also correct to note that the 1992 "Hamlet" production was the Yale Rep's season opener and, though performed by students, was a professional theater performance. This article has been amended to reflect this. Have other proof we're wrong? Email hello@upworthy.com!

If Zainab's (or Melody's!) casting catches you a bit off guard, here are two things to realize:

1. Way back in Elizabethan times, when "Hamlet" first was performed at Globe Theater, male actors played the all the female roles.

"Lying for a living" was considered too scandalous for a woman to do.

Lines too unseemly to escape a woman's lips included:

  • Katherine's "My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart concealing it will break," from "Taming of the Shrew."
  • Ophelia's "Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads," from "Hamlet."
  • Juliet's "Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" from "Romeo and Juliet."

The truth was not a man's activity ... or something ... I guess?

That makes no sense.

I think we can all agree that was a silly law. The proof is in the receipts:

2. This minority, female-led production already has sold out almost every night of its run:

Wow. Better get a ticket now, if they aren't sold out already! The show ends May 2, 2015!

The play's success is in no small part thanks to Zainab and the rest of the women involved. This classic play is better for having them (and the rest of the cast) there.

And the crew is pretty great, too.

I'll say it again: This production looks so friggin' cool.

The sets incorporate graffiti by a street artist, CERA. Matt Saunders, the set designer, and Vasilija Zivanic, the costume designer, intended to create the feeling of a modern but also corrupt and Elizabethan society.

This helps illustrate the themes of vengeance, corruption, and decay that make "Hamlet" one of the most famous plays in existence.

Director Blanka Zizka cast Zainab for a great reason:

"I knew I needed an actor who possessed great presence and could easily transform onstage," she said.

"I made a list of actors I would like to see working with me and it eventually became very clear to me that Zainab was going to be my Hamlet," Blanka explained.

So, just to be clear, it wasn't to be different.

She chose the best person for the job, who just so happened to be Zainab.

The director also says that in her production, "Hamlet is not going to change gender because he's played by a woman," and she expects that Zainab is "going to transform into Hamlet."

I think she has. But, you can be the judge, too:

Simply put, everything I'm looking at is coolness defined.

Zainab rules the stage. As any prince should. So, go see this badass version of Hamlet!

"Hamlet" runs until May 2, 2015, at The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

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via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

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According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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Part of what makes the beauty of fall unique is that it's fleeting. Mother Nature puts on a vibrant show as she sheds what no longer serves her, inviting us to revel in her purposeful self-destruction. It's a gorgeous example of not only embracing change, but celebrating it.

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