Suffolk University and Boston Playwrights¬' Theatre Present Mortal Terror


Suffolk University and Boston Playwrights' Theatre present Robert Brustein's Mortal Terror, directed by Daniela Varon from September 15 through October 2 at the Modern Theatre at Suffolk University, 525 Washington Street, Boston. The production will be available for press viewing on Saturday, September 17 at 8pm.

Playwright Robert Brustein brings the spirit of William Shakespeare back to the stage with his imaginative story of political upheaval set during the ignition of the Gunpowder Plot. In 1605, William Shakespeare, trapped by political intrigue, violence and betrayal, is persuaded by King James to create a play that justifies the new king's right to the English throne and his idiotic belief in witches. Torn between his commitment to his art and his need to placate the king, Shakespeare creates one of his greatest works-Macbeth-meanwhile contemplating an affair with the King's young dissatisfied wife.

Mortal Terror is the second in a trilogy of plays about the life and work of Shakespeare by Robert Brustein, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Suffolk University. The first installment, The English Channel, focusing on Shakespeare's affair with the Dark Lady, Emilia Lanier, was produced at the Abingdon Theatre in 2009, where it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The third part of the trilogy, The Last Will, about Shakespeare's return to Stratford Upon Avon towards the end of his life, will be produced by the Abingdon in New York in the Fall of 2012.

The company of Mortal Terror includes Stafford Clark-Price as William Shakespeare, joined by Dafydd ap Rees as Sir John Harington, Michael Hammond as King James, Jeremiah Kissel as Ben Johnson, John Kuntz as Marston/Guy Fawkes, Georgia Lyman as Queen Anne, and Christopher James Webb as Catesby.

Set design is by Jon Savage, Costume Design by Rachel Padula Shufelt, Lighting Design by Frank Meissner, and Sound Design by David Remedios.


A special panel discussion on the future of Shakespeare productions in America will be held preceding the Friday, September 23rd performance of Mortal Terror, with panelists Robert Brustein, Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theatre in New York, and Jenny Gersten, the newly appointed Artistic Director of Williamstown Theatre Festival. The panel discussion will begin at 6pm at the Modern Theatre at Suffolk University, 525 Washington Street, Boston. (Free with ticket to Mortal Terror or Suffolk University ID.)


Robert Brustein (Playwright) is a recipient of the 2010 National Medal of Arts and Founding Director of the Yale Repertory Theatre and American Repertory Theatre. He served for 20 years as Director of the Loeb Drama Center where he also founded the ART Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard. Mr. Brustein retired from the A.R.T. position in 2002 and now serves as Founding Director.

Robert Brustein is the author of 17 books on theatre and society including The Theatre of Revolt, Making Scenes (a memoir of his Yale years), Reimagining American Theatre, The Third Theatre, Revolution as Theatre, Who Needs Theatre, Dumbocracy in America, Cultural Calisthenics, The Siege of the Arts, Letters to a Young Actor, Millennial Stages, The Tainted Muse, and his latest, Rants and Raves. He has also written extensively on Shakespeare. His book, The Tainted Muse: Prejudices and Presumptions in Shakespeare and His Age, was published in 2009. He has supervised well over 200 productions, acting in eight and directing twelve, including his own adaptations of The Father, Ghosts, The Changeling and the trilogy of Pirandello works: Six Characters in Search of an Author, Right You Are (If You Think You Are) and Tonight We Improvise. His Six Characters in Search of an Author won the Boston Theatre Award for Best Production of 1996.

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