Helen Cespedes, Amy Jo Jackson, Maria-Christina Oliveras & More to Star in KIT MARLOWE Reading at Red Bull Theater

This in-person-only event will premiere at 7:30 PM ET on Monday April 3rd at Polonsky Shakespeare Center.

By: Mar. 15, 2023
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Helen Cespedes, Amy Jo Jackson, Maria-Christina Oliveras & More to Star in KIT MARLOWE Reading at Red Bull Theater

RED BULL THEATER has announced the complete cast for the next offering of a new season of OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings: Kit Marlowe by David Grimm, directed by Emma Rosa Went. This in-person-only event will premiere at 7:30 PM ET on Monday April 3rd at Polonsky Shakespeare Center (262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn).

Performed by an all women and non-binary company, director Emma Rosa Went seeks to reinvigorate the play's radical and provocative landscape, by giving a new generation of queer artists access to its explosive and urgent questions about art, love, depravity, redemption, and the cost of genius. Set in the seedy underworld of Elizabethan England, the story of the meteoric rise and fall of Christopher Marlowe - playwright, poet, spy, and sexual outlaw - charts the ambitions of youth in a cold and unforgiving world.

Mr. Berger says, "I'm excited to invite you to a fantastic contemporary play about the dramatic life of Christopher Marlowe. David Grimm's thrilling exploration of the life of Marlowe hasn't been seen in New York in over 20 years, and I'm very pleased to be able to invite you to a reading of it featuring a fantastic cast under Emma Rosa Went's revelatory direction at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center. Red Bull is also currently producing Arden of Faversham at the Lucille Lortel Theater -- a play of unknown authorship, although parts of it have been attributed to Shakespeare, and some believe Marlowe had a hand in it too! You've got three more weeks to make it to Arden, and only one night for Kit Marlowe -- we hope to see you at both!"

This event is general admission and tickets are $50 each (plus $5.00 Convenience Fee). Thanks to an anonymous donor, a limited number of $25 Access tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis. Use promo code ACCESS when purchasing. To purchase tickets, go to redbulltheater.com/kit-marlowe.

The cast will feature Helen Cespedes (The School for Scandal - Red Bull Theater, Timon of Athens - RSC/Shakespeare Theatre Co/TFANA); Amy Jo Jackson (The Great Recession, Kaspar Hauser: A Foundling's Opera - The Flea); Merritt Janson (Coriolanus - Red Bull Theater; Julius Caesar - TFANA/Oregon Shakespeare; Measure for Measure, Tamburlaine - TFANA; House For Sale - Transport Group); Rami Margron (As You Like It - La Jolla; Hurricane Diane - Old Globe); B Norwood (american (tele)visions - NY Theatre Workshop; Addressless - Rattlestick); Maria-Christina Oliveras (B'way: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Amélie, Machinal; Zorba! - Encores!; Pretty Filthy - The Civilians; Here Lies Love, Romeo and Juliet - Public Theater); Yasmin Pascall (Red Bull debut!), Sushma Saha (1776 - Roundabout; 7 Minutes - Waterwell); Han Van Sciver (At The Wedding - LCT3); and Ching Valdes-Aran (Felix Starro, Flipzoids - Ma-Yi; Faust 2.0 - Mabou Mines; A Man's a Man - CSC; The House of Bernarda Alba - NAATCO; Macbeth, Dogeaters, Julius Caesar, The Wild Party - Public Theater).


Originally produced at The Public Theatre in 2000, Kit Marlowe refracts the life story of its title character, the Elizabethan playwright whose talent and potential rivaled Shakespeare's, through the lens of the writer's own most famous play, about a man who makes a deal with the devil. Bold, reckless, and blazingly talented, Kit Marlowe intends to make a name for himself no matter the cost. Duty-bound and cautious, his best friend Thomas Walsingham just wants to ensure they both are able to live safe, comfortable lives-but he can never resist being pulled back into Kit's orbit. Kit uses their friendship to reach out to Thomas's uncle, the spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, who is more than happy to direct Kit's ambitions to his own ends. Kit, however, is not the type to be blindly loyal to anything, including the crown. He treasures his burgeoning literary career and idolizes Sir Walter Raleigh, whose wavering place in the queen's favor has put him in danger-from Walsingham. And tied deep within this knot of conflicting loyalties is Thomas, who is pulled farther and farther into a life of numbing duty, as the fraying connection between two young men slowly becomes the only thing that might be able to save them both. But in this world of honor and espionage, bargains must be kept, and the price for breaking a promise may be far more than just your life.


David Grimm is a Brooklyn-based award-winning playwright and screenwriter. His plays include Ibsen in Chicago (Seattle Rep.); a new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac (Perseverance Theatre); Tales From Red Vienna (Manhattan Theatre Club); Measure for Pleasure (Public Theater; Bug 'n Bub Award; GLAAD Media Award nominee, Outstanding New York Theater, Broadway and Off-Broadway); The Miracle at Naples (Huntington; Best New Play IRNE Award); Steve & Idi (Rattlestick); Chick (Hartford Stage); The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue (Hartford Stage); Kit Marlowe (Public Theater; GLAAD Media Award nominee, Outstanding New York Theater, Broadway and Off-Broadway); Sheridan, Or Schooled In Scandal (La Jolla); Enough Rope (Williamstown Theatre Festival, starring Elaine Stritch), and Susanna Centlivre's The Gaming Table (for which he wrote additional material; Folger Library Theatre). Shorter works include Oriflamme (part of The Acting Company's Desire: Short Plays Adapted from the Works of Tennessee Williams); the song cycle Boxes, Buckets & Bags (music by Peter Golub; featured in Liederabend @ The Kitchen); Divinity du Styx (24 Hour Plays); Brooklyn Evening (One Minute Play Festival); À la Recherche du Frank Perdue (Red Bull Theater's Verse Play Festival); Their Sabbath Passeth in Disgrace or, 'Tis Pity She's a Roast (New York Theatre Workshop's Verse Slam); Version Mary (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater for Jack Ferver and Bradford Louryk); A Christmas Golem (Guthrie and Minnesota Public Radio); and others. Grimm's film work includes the dialogue for Matthew Barney's "River of Fundament." His work for television includes "The Exorcist" (FOX Television, Seasons 1 and 2) and "NOS4A2" (AMC, Season 2). As an actor, David's credits include J. Julian Christopher's Locusts Have No King (INTAR), Farquar's Restoration comedy The Constant Couple, Mucerdorus or, The Shepherd Prince (Red Heel at Westbeth), William Bell by Alejandro Morales, and as Steve in his own play Steve & Idi (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre). David also appears in Matthew Barney's "River of Fundament" as the bartender at Norman Mailer's wake. David is the recipient of an NEA/TCG Residency Grant and has received commissions from The Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, Seattle Rep., Huntington Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, and Pittsburgh's City Theatre Company. He has developed work at the Sundance Theatre Lab, Old Vic New Voices, and New York Stage & Film. David holds an MFA from NYU, a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and has lectured in Playwriting and Screenwriting at the Yale School of Drama, Brown University, Columbia University, and NYU.


Emma Rosa Went is a New York based theatre director who makes heartfelt, vivid, and collaborative productions of new and classic-text plays. Most frequent collaborators include her spouse, playwright Else Went, and William Shakespeare. In spring of 2023: Emma is directing Romeo and Juliet (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Educational Tour;) working on Hamlet with Will Frears at Mercury Store, and directing readings with MTC @ City Center (An Oxford Man;) Red Bull (Kit Marlowe;) Ars Nova (Degenerates;) and The Public (Initiative). With support from Mercury Store and The Bechdel Project, Emma and Else are currently developing Dog Face, a radical adaptation of The Changeling. Emma is also under commission with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, working on The Two Noble Kinsmen. Other recent work includes Much Ado About Nothing (Opera House Arts;) A Midsummer Night's Dream (Connecticut Shakespeare Festival, 2021 Regional Broadway World Award for Best Direction of a Play;) and readings with NYTW (Degenerates;) Red Bull (Gallathea;) and others. Past work in New York includes projects at The Tank (Old Names for Wildflowers, Courage! To the Field!; Boxcar;) The Brick, Playwrights Realm, Trans Lab @ WP, Dixon Place, Access Theatre, and other venues. Other regional work includes Weston Theater Company (One Room Plays;) Scranton Shakespeare Festival (Richard III, As You Like It;) Campfire Theatre Festival at Boise Contemporary Theatre, & Barn Arts Collective. Past recipient of Drama League Classical Directing Fellowship & Drama League First Stage Residency. Emma has been a teaching artist or guest-lecturer at: The Freeman Studio NYC, University of Colorado at Boulder, & Scranton Preparatory School. Assistant directing includes TFANA, OSF, Red Bull, Colorado Shakespeare, Atlantic, Rattlestick, & more. Emma also co-hosts the podcast 'this shakespeare is gay,' available wherever you find podcasts. SDC Associate Member, BA Sarah Lawrence College.


Red Bull Theater brings rarely seen classic plays to dynamic new life for contemporary audiences, uniting a respect for tradition with a modern sensibility. Named for the rowdy Jacobean playhouse that illegally performed plays in England during the years of Puritan rule, Red Bull Theater is New York City's home for dynamic performances of great plays that stand the test of time. With the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as its cornerstone, the company also produces new works that are in conversation with the classics. A home for artists, scholars, and students, Red Bull Theater delights and engages the intellect and imagination of audiences, and strives to make its work accessible, diverse, and welcoming to all. We value and practice inclusiveness, equity, and diversity in all of our activities, and are committed to antiracist action. Red Bull Theater believes in the power of great classic stories and plays of heightened language to deepen our understanding of the human condition, in the special ability of live theater to create unique, collective experiences, and in the timeless capacity of classical theater to illuminate the events of our times. Variety agreed, hailing Red Bull's work as: "Proof that classical theater can still be surprising after hundreds of years."

Since its debut in 2003 with a production of Shakespeare's Pericles starring Daniel Breaker, Red Bull Theater has served adventurous theatergoers with Off-Broadway productions, Revelation Readings, and the annual Short New Play Festival. The company also offers outreach programs including Shakespeare in Schools bringing professional actors and teaching artists into public school classrooms; Bull Sessions, free post-play discussions with top scholars; and Classical Acting Intensives led by veteran theater professionals. During the pandemic, Red Bull created several new and ongoing programs to serve audiences and artists with our mission: RemarkaBULL Podversations, Online Readings, Seminars, and more.

Red Bull Theater has presented 20 Off-Broadway productions and nearly 200 Revelation Readings of rarely seen classics, serving a community of more than 5,000 artists and providing quality artistic programming to an audience of over 65,000. The company's unique programming has received ongoing critical acclaim and has been recognized with Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, Callaway, Off-Broadway Alliance, and OBIE nominations and Awards.

For more information about any of Red Bull Theater's programs, visit www.redbulltheater.com.